DHARAMSALA: Flash flood triggered by heavy rains swept away buildings and cars at tourist spots as bad weather also led to the closure of the airport here.
A drain near Bhagsu Nag in upper Dharamsala adjoining Mecleodganj changed its course owing to heavy rains, sweeping away four cars and several bikes, video clips showed.
A government school building at Bhagsunag was also damaged and adjacent hotels there were inundated, it showed.
"Due to inclement weather and heavy rains, all incoming flights to Dharamshala airport at Gaggal have been cancelled," said airport's traffic in-charge Gaurav Kumar.
Owing to flash flood at Manjhi Khad area adjoining Dharamsala, two buildings were swept away while several others were reported to be damaged, the video clips.
Heavy rains leading to flash floods also damaged a bridge on the Mandi-Pathankot highway after which traffic was stopped on both sides, leading to a traffic jam.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday to take stock of the situation arising due to the floods in several districts of the state and assured him all possible help from the Centre.
Thakur also expressed concern over the losses due to heavy rain and directed the administrations of various districts to ensure speedy relief and rescue operation in the affected areas.
He also urged the local people and tourists to refrain from going near the river banks to avoid any untoward incident.
Deputy Commissioner Dr Nipun Jindal said, "Instructions have also been given to people to not go to sensitive places prone to landslides.
Some people have also been shifted to safer places due to flood conditions in some areas of the district.
" Officials have been directed to complete relief and rehabilitation immediately, he said, adding that control rooms have also been set up and steps have also been taken to make the weather forecast available to people.
Jindal said according to the Meteorological Department forecast, heavy rain on July 13 as well as from July 14 to 16 has been predicted.
Keeping this in mind, orders have been issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005 to district officers of all the departments in Kangra district to remain alert.