More than 220 tourists stuck in Lahaul-Spiti after cloudburst

As many as 221 tourists are still stranded in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul-Spiti following a cloudburst and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall, according to official data released on Friday. Of the total, 191 are local tourists from Himachal Pradesh and 30 others are from Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Delhi, Odisha.

The district administration has said all have been moved to safe places. Officials said, subject to weather conditions, people will be transported from Udaipur to Sissu Helipad in Lahaul by helicopter on a priority basis. They will then be transported to Manali via Atal Tunnel, the official added. Traffic movement was restored on the Manali-Leh national highway (NH-03) that was blocked due to multiple landslides since Tuesday on Thursday evening. Deputy Commissioner Neeraj Kumar earlier sought helicopter support from the Himachal Pradesh government for their evacuation, a district spokesperson said. Sorties with a state government helicopter have also been planned due to weather conditions. He said though no loss of life has been reported in the incident that occurred near Shansha village, but traffic on the state highway was stalled owing to the damage. Their evacuation through road seems difficult as the route via Pangi is not expected to be ready by Friday evening, State Disaster Management Director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said earlier. Several roads and bridges have been damaged in the district due to bad weather.