A file picture shows workers using a bulldozer to clear up the debris at the site of a landslide in Nagrota Bagwan in Himachal Pradesh, India. EPA/EFE/FILE/SANJAY BAID

At least 16 dead as heavy rains lash northern India

New Delhi, Aug 14 (EFE).- At least 16 people have been killed and dozens more are feared missing, following intense monsoon rains that caused flash floods and landslides in northern India.

The heavy rains have also blocked hundreds of roads, plunging the northern state of Himachal Pradesh into chaos.

Nine people were killed in Shimla after a Hindu temple (Shiv Temple) collapsed as a result of the downpour, the state’s Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said in a statement.

“The local administration is diligently working to clear the debris in order to rescue individuals who may still be trapped,” Sukhu said.

He added that an additional seven people lost their lives in the Solan district of this mountainous state.

The cloudburst has caused numerous landslides, leading to the closure of more than 700 roads in the state.

The heavy downpour and landslides have prompted local authorities to order closure of schools in vulnerable areas of the state.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for several districts in the neighboring Uttarakhand state for extremely heavy rainfall on Monday.

Every year, heavy rains cause significant human and material losses in this south Asian country, especially during the monsoon season between May and September. EFE