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Four feared dead as flash floods wreak havoc in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: Four people including three members of a family were feared dead as flash floods triggered by a cloudburst wreaked havoc in Dharampur area of Mandi district, 250 km from here, on Saturday morning, inundating vast areas, washing away vehicles and perishing several heads of cattle.

Three members of a family were feared to have been buried alive after their house collapsed due to a landslide while a Sadhu was washed away in the gushing water of swollen Son Khud, a tributary of the Beas River, police said.

About a dozen people waiting at Dharampur bus-stand, had to rush to the first floor as Son Khud water entered the bus stand, inundating shops and houses. Three buses were damaged and three cars washed away.

Local people were engaged in rescue and relief works. The strong water currents, however, hampered rescue operations. Former minister and local BJP MLA Mohinder Singh, who reached the spot in the wee hours, said rains had caused colossal damage.

Besides likely human casualties, three buses were damaged, a large number of light vehicles were washed away, and flood water entered about 50 shops, damaging goods, he added.

Meanwhile, heavy rains blocked Manali-Kiratpur national highway at some places while Dharampur-Harsipattan road was also damaged at some places. (With inputs from agencies)