Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday offered condolence to the families of the deceased in the Mandi landslide and requested the Himachal Pradesh Government to provide every possible aid. “My condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in Mandi. Request Himachal govt. & local Congress units to provide all possible help,” Gandhi tweeted. Meanwhile, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda also tweeted, “Deeply saddened to know about this unfortunate accident at Padhar on Mandi NH, Himachal Pradesh.My prayers are with the families of victims.” Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh who visited the site said that rescue operations are underway and relief announcement will be done by the Government soon.
“Rescue is on, the police and the Army are there. The local people are also helping. The relief announcement will be done by the Government as per the schedule,” Singh told ANI. The incident took place in the Ural area of Mandi where two buses passing through Pathankot-Manali National Highway were washed away in the muddy water due to a reported cloudburst. Those injured were immediately rushed to the nearby hospital. Meanwhile, the army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel with other rescue teams are searching the area for bodies buried under the debris.
Officials who are supervising the rescue operation said that it is a tough task for the rescue teams because the whole area has been covered with several feet of mud and big boulders. The authorities have diverted the traffic from both sides of the National Highway. The Mandi district administration has issued help line numbers 1905- 226201, 226202, 226203, 1905- 235538 and 094180-01051.