New Delhi, IndiaCNN —
Flooding has caused a temple to collapse in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh on Monday, killing nine people and leaving up to 25 others trapped in the rubble. Heavy rains have killed a further seven people elsewhere in the state.
The temple in the state capital Shimla, a popular tourist area, collapsed around 8 a.m. local time, the state’s chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu told Indian news agency ANI during a visit to the temple site on Monday.
The bodies of those who died have been retrieved and the “local administration is diligently working to clear the debris,” Sukhu posted on X (previously known as Twitter) on Monday.
Five people have been rescued but around 20 to 25 people remain trapped, with rescue efforts under way, he added.
A further seven people died in the district of Solan on Monday after a cloudburst, Sukhu posted on X on Monday, saying he was “devastated to hear about the loss.”
“We have directed the authorities to ensure all possible assistance and support to the affected families during this trying period,” Sukhu added.
“I appeal to people to stay indoors, to not venture near rivers and landslide-prone areas,” Sukhu said.
Traffic police officials have also urged the public to avoid traveling due to the ongoing heavy rain, with the Indian Meteorological Department issuing a red alert for the state.
Videos and images shared on social media show destroyed roads and fallen trees, while and water gushing down mountains sends huge rocks flying.
Himachal Pradesh, has been one of the worst-affected states in this monsoon season. In July, more than 30 people in the state were killed after flash floods and landslides.
Some scientists say the human-caused climate crisis is making India’s monsoon season more chaotic and erratic.