Rescuers yet to reach calamity-hit Himachal village

Shimla, June 28 (IANS) Rescue teams are yet to reach a village in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district that was severely hit by flash-floods and landslides 12 days ago, an official said here Friday.

"The army is using an alternative route to reach Chulling village that has suffered the brunt of the disaster," Chief Secretary S. Roy said in a statement.

He said the detailed report on losses from Chulling is awaited.

The village is at an altitude of 3,200 metres in the Hango Valley in the trans-Himalayas.

Incessant rains that triggered flash-floods June 16-18 have killed 20 people in Kinnaur, displaced hundreds and damaged more than 300 houses.

Roy said 158 people were evacuated Friday.

As many as 1,679 people, comprising tourists and locals, have been evacuated since June 18 from Kinnaur, he said.

The state government and the Indian Air Force (IAF) have deployed choppers for evacuation.

Roy said all tourists have been evacuated and the focus now is on stranded locals.

The chief secretary said the government has developed various road stretches starting from Tapri to Rekong Peo, the district headquarters, 250 km from state capital.

He said National Highway 22 connecting Rekong Peo to Shiaso in the Sunam Valley near Pooh has been restored.

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