Striking At The Root

Unprecedented September Snow Destroys Crops in Himachal, India + Record Flooding

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.

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.

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.

 

Record Flooding

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.

The flash flooding is reported to be the worst since 1995 — or solar minimum of cycle 22:

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