Twelve people have been killed and 25 others are missing as torrential rains and landslides hit Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh and Chamoli districts early on Friday morning.
The rains submerged villages and many residents are said to have been trapped in remote areas.
Eight people were killed in a cloudburst in Pithoragarh, four people died because of heavy rains in Chamoli. Two others were swept away in the debris that rushed down the slopes into Siron village in Chamoli. Similar incidents were reported in other areas where casualties occurred.
The cloudburst in Singhali area of Pithorgarh brought over 100 mm rain in two hours. It flattened homes in over seven villages, said officials.
“We have recovered five bodies from Singhali area while three bodies have been recovered from Thal village. The search for others is on by rescue parties consisting of army and paramilitary personnel,” said Pithoragarh District Magistrate H C Semwal.
District disaster management officer RS Rana, who was on the spot, said his team was trying to trace those who were missing.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat expressed grief at the loss of lives and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the victims.
“Many people are still trapped under tonnes of debris brought by the heavy rains. ITBP, SDRF and paramilitary personnel are involved in rescue work,” the CM said.
“I am personally monitoring the situation from here. Chief Secretary too is keeping tab…we will give them (kin of victims) immediate compensation of Rs two lakh as per norms,” he said in Delhi.
According to the disaster management office sources, the cloudburst occurred in the villages of Singhali, Patthakot, Ogla and Thal.
On Thursday, the MET department in Dehradun had warned of heavy rains in isolated places in Uttarakhand especially Nainital, Udhamsingh Nagar and Champawat districts. According to the MET the rains will continue to lash these parts for the next two days.
(With inputs from PTI)