Landslide destroys several buildings in India’s Himachal Pradesh state

TV channels broadcast images of hillside buildings crashing down, along with trees and debris – the latest in a string of disasters in the Himalayas.

A landslide in north Indian mountains has destroyed several buildings, the latest in a string of disasters in the Himalayas that have killed scores of people.

No one was hurt in Thursday’s landslide in the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh state as residents had been moved out of the area because it was deemed unsafe, officials said.

“The administration had identified the risk and successfully evacuated the building two days prior,” the state’s chief minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, said in a post on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, referring to what he called “a massive commercial building”.

He posted a video clip of the building collapsing in the landslide. Television channels broadcast pictures of buildings on a hillside crashing down, along with trees and debris.

“A total of eight buildings were fully damaged and two others partially damaged,” said state disaster management official Praveen Bhardwaj.

india landslides
Rescuers remove mud and debris as they search for people feared trapped after another landslide hit Himachal Pradesh earlier this month [File: Pradeep Kumar/AP]

Landslides in Himachal Pradesh have killed more than 50 people this month, with houses flattened and buses and cars hanging on the edge of precipices after roads gave way.

According to the state’s disaster management authority, at least 361 people have died and 342 others injured since June due to cloudbursts, landslides, floods and other climate-related accidents. Some 40 people are still missing, according to media reports.

In recent weeks, the state has seen heavy rains, leading to the blockage of hundreds of roads. Several videos on social media have shown buildings collapsing in seconds.

Dozens of people have died across India in the past few months due to the heavy monsoon rains that usually last from June to September.

The rains and melting glaciers have brought deadly flash floods to the mountains of India and neighbouring Pakistan and Nepal in recent years, with government officials increasingly blaming climate change.

At least 52 people have been killed in landslides in Nepal this year while 29 are missing.

Source: News Agencies