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Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], Sep 24 (ANI): With heavy rain continually lashing Himachal Pradesh (HP), the metrological department (MeT) on Monday forecasted more rainfall for the hilly state.

Speaking to ANI, Manmohan Singh, the director of the Shimla MeT center, said, "The state has witnessed moderate, heavy and extremely heavy rainfall recently. The western parts o the state - Kullu, Chamba, Kangra - have witnessed the heaviest rains."

"There are high possibilities of rains across the state in the next 24 hours, with chances of snowfall in the more elevated areas. Heavy to extremely heavy rains are expected in the central and eastern parts of the state, while the western parts, which witnessed very heavy rains yesterday, will witness relatively lighter rains," Singh added.

Heavy snowfall has been witnessed in Lahul-Spiti, Chamba and other districts, while around 225 mm rainfall has been recorded in Kalatop area of Chamba district. The MeT has issued alerts for heavy rains, snow and increasing chances of landslides.

Meanwhile, R. Thakur, the District Collector of Mandi said, "Water-levels in the rivers have risen. We are continuously monitoring the situation. Following heavy rainfall alert for today, we have appealed to people to stay indoors and not to go near the rivers."

According to data available with the MeT, rainfall in September has been the highest in fifteen years.

Earlier today, an Indian Air Force chopper rescued 19 people stranded on an islet on the swelling Beas river at Dobi in Kullu district. The rescued people were then flown to the local airfield of Bhuntar.

Also, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur chaired a meeting to take stock of the situation and directed the officers to take all precautionary measures to minimise loss of life and property. (ANI)

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