The apple, pea and potato crops in Lahaul have suffered “massive and unprecedented damage” after two feet of snow fell in the last 24 hours, cutting the district off from the rest of the state.
The crops were due to be harvested this week in the lower Patten Valley, but the freak snowfall has burnt the crops, local farmers have said.
“We never experienced such a loss to crops in the past and snow in September,” said Prem Lal and Himal Thakur, farmers from Lahaul.
Apple trees have been destroyed under the snow and the peas, potatoes and off season vegetable crops have suffered ‘massive and unprecedented damage,’ an official report has revealed.
#High #Alert More than 2 feet of snow in #Tribal #District #Lahaul #Spiti of #Himachal.
Snowfall since Saturday.
No #electricity No #Mobile Network , #Vegetable, #Apple #Crops Destroyed. Big loss for farmers. #Highway #Link #Roads closed.
Now Risk of #Avalanche & #LandSlides pic.twitter.com/4oe8b0XERW
— Yash Raj (@yashrazz) September 23, 2018
Many areas are cut off due to snow, and flooding has damaged highways making them impassable.
Three bridges were washed away in Kullu and Manali.
It could be days before roads are restored in Rohtang range and Lahaul, “It’s been snowing since Sunday,” said BRO engineers.
— thehushpost (@THP_India) September 24, 2018
Reports are coming in of over 1,000 people, including tourists, stranded in Manali and Keylong due to the shock snowfall.
The entire Lahaul valley has been in darkness for three days now as power lines have snapped under heavy snow accumulations.
Small generators are powering mobile phones, keeping the link with the outside world.
Operations to reach the stranded tourists have been hindered by continuous snowfall, and the BSNL, the only electricity provider in the valley, is also stranded and powerless.
Lower-lying regions in Himachal Pradesh continued to experience torrential rainfall over the weekend.
Many rivers have overflowed and the resulting torrents have washed away roads, bridges, houses and vehicles — the Beas waters even flooded the Manali-Chandigarh highway.
An Indian Air Force chopper rescued 19 people on Saturday in Himachal Pradesh as they were stuck in a flashflood triggered by continuous heavy rain, officials said. https://t.co/8ncD1IcS9w pic.twitter.com/AEgUqwEErd
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) September 24, 2018
A bus was washed away by a flooding river in Himachal Pradesh Manali, India. The bus was empty at the time. Report: One Himachal pic.twitter.com/BeIzw44Uw1
— severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) September 24, 2018
The flash flooding is reported to be the worst since 1995 — or solar minimum of cycle 22:
GSM = influx of Cosmic Rays = increased Cloud Nucleation