Massive landslides caused by melting snow bury homes in parts of India

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Massive landslides, triggered by fast melting of snow above Billing Nullah, about 1.5 km from Keylong, the district headquarters, blocked the flow of a rivulet for more than 40 hours, resulting in formation of a huge lake about one km above the Manali-Keylong highway. 
 
As the rivulet, with about one cubic metre of water flow, continues to increase the area of the lake, an alert has been sounded downstream to stay away from the nullah and banks of Chandra and Bhaga rivers, sources said. Officials are monitoring the spot continuously and the district administration has sought help from state geological department. Three houses and nearly 10 bighas of land were buried under the debris on Monday, they said. 
 
Lahaul-Spiti deputy commissioner Beer Singh Thakur said landslides are continuing in an area of about 200 metres. “The region is under close observation. In case of any danger, we shall take necessary action. For now, people have been told not to come close to the rivulet.” 
 
Thakur said water level rose continuously with the blockade and now some water was flowing over the debris. Dust particles due to falling rocks are visible from many kilometers away and there was possibility that more debris making the situation more critical, he said. 
 
Tashi Dorje, of Billing village, said, “We could not sleep the whole night due to the sound of falling rocks. Our village is safe as the nullah flows more than 100 feet below. But sudden breakage of the dam can prove fatal.”

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