Rains ravage Manali
Rains in Manali are not new. However this time, the rain did not stop for four days. The Beas with all its rivulets became a raging torrent that ravaged Manali, sweeping all the roads away in its fury. Manali did not have electricity, water, phone lines or internet communication for the next four days. Tourists anticipating a mountain retreat found themselves stranded without money, or the ability to return home. Migrant laborers living in hovels at the riverside were rendered homeless. The shops ran out of vegetables. Gas cylinders were precious and unobtainable. The fuel stations exhausted their supply of fuel. The local civil hospital put a rope and chain on their gate as their response to disaster.
The Lady Willingdon Hospital stayed open, and was the only recourse for health emergencies. Thankfully the prescient staff had stocked up on diesel to keep our generator running. We have a bore well for water. We started cooking and distributing food to the homeless. The local administration has given us the responsibility for doing this in two areas where the homeless are sheltered. We found they needed blankets and supplied them on the 11th July. The local administration requested us to provide breakfast for 300 people stranded over the pass. We did this on 11th July. The administration has been able to open a side road along the left bank that will permit small vehicles to enter and leave Manali. Our vehicle went to re stock our oxygen cylinders and is still stuck in a traffic jam. This lifeline will permit supplies to enter Manali. The local villages are relatively self sufficient for now. The scale of destruction of all roads and bridges is unimaginable. It will probably take months or even a year for them to repair the roads.
We wish to thank all our supporters who have called, prayed and written in to us at this time, permitting us to continue to do our part in helping folk at this time.
I do foresee the need to continue to provide food for the migrant worker population till such time that they can rebuild their homes and stand on their own feet. This may take a month. We may need to co ordinate with the district administration to relocate them and permit them to rebuild their temporary homes.