Sixteen trekkers have reportedly lost contact to the rest of the world due to bad weather conditions in Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba. It is learnt that the trekking group involved 10 foreigners.

According to media reports, policemen along with local porters and mountaineering experts have launched a search operation to locate the missing trekkers.

The incident comes a few days after a group of 45 students of IIT-Roorkee, five Indian- born US nationals and two German trekkers, were rescued from the icy heights of Himachal Pradesh. The rescue operation was jointly carried out by the district administration and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

Most of those rescued were stranded in Sissu in the Lahaul Valley as landslides triggered by heavy snow damaged the road links to Manali.

At least three IAF choppers were deployed for rescue mission. The choppers conducted multiple sorties to evacuate the stranded people to safety.

The IIT students were on a trekking expedition in Lahaul-Spiti when they got stranded.

Earlier this week, Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur had sought an immediate financial assistance of Rs 200 crore from the Centre for undertaking rescue and relief operations in view of the damage caused by the heavy rain.

The Chief Minister said he spoke to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman regarding the natural calamity.

Heavy rains and snowfall in Himachal Pradesh on Monday claimed eight lives and hundreds, including school students, remained stranded across the state after incessant rainfall for the third consecutive day, triggering landslides and snapping over 200 road links, officials said.

Three people were washed away near Manali late on Sunday night when their vehicle fell into the swollen Beas river.

Elsewhere, two people were washed away in the Parbati river in the Manikaran valley, while one girl died near Bajaura. Both incidents occurred in Kullu, one of the worst affected districts by flash floods.

A man was drowned in a swollen rivulet near Palampur town in Kangra district, while another was killed when a building was washed away in a rivulet in Una district.