Authorities said the death toll could rise as they work to pull out those still trapped after the landslides (Pradeep Kumar/AP)

22 dead as heavy rain triggers floods and landslides in India’s Himalayan region

The landslides in Shimla occurred near a Hindu temple, and officials said the death toll could rise as they work to pull out those still trapped.22 dead as heavy rain triggers floods and landslides in India’s Himalayan region

Heavy monsoon rains triggered floods and landslides in India’s Himalayan region, leaving at least 22 people dead and many others trapped, officials said on Monday.

A cloudburst in the mountainous Himachal Pradesh state’s Solan district on Sunday night killed nine people, and nine more bodies were pulled out from under mud and debris after two landslides in Shimla, the state’s capital, authorities told the Press Trust of India news agency.

Four others were killed in heavy rain and a landslide in the state’s Hamirpur district, they added.

The state’s chief minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, said rescuers in Shimla were working to clear the debris and help those still trapped.

Cloudbursts are a common occurrence in Himalayan regions, but experts say they are alarmed by the increase in extreme weather-related events in the area.

Cloudbursts occur when more than 3.94in (10cm) of rainfall occurs within 3.86 square miles (10 sq km) within an hour. They have the potential to cause intense flooding and landslides and can affect thousands of people in India’s mountainous regions.

Homes in Solan were washed away and roads flooded in the incessant rains, police officials told the Press Trust of India news agency.

In Shimla, the landslides occurred near a Hindu temple, and authorities said the death toll could rise as they work to pull out those who are still trapped.

All schools and colleges in the state have been shut and more than 700 roads, inundated with water, have been closed.

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