Uttrakhand: Death Toll 24, weather improves

SansadTV Bureau

Heavy rains have wreaked chaos in Pauri and other districts of Uttarakhand killing 24 people in separate incidents of cloudburst, house collapse and landslides since Saturday.

However, the weather improved across Uttarakhand on Sunday with a let-up in rain as most places received little or no showers.

No loss of life and property was reported from anywhere and major rivers were flowing below the the danger level.

The Uttarakhand government on Saturday sounded an alert, as rain-related incidents wreaked havoc.

At least 200 State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel have been pressed into rescue operations.

At several places, rescue teams were helping clear debris or evacuate stranded people. In Dehradun’s landslide-hit Rajpur area, a woman was pulled out alive by rescue workers from under a mound of debris.

The Ganga which had sent the alarm bells ringing on Saturday shooting beyond the danger mark at Haridwar is now flowing well below that at 292.15 metres.

The danger level is 294 metres and the mighty river was flowing at 294.2 metres on Saturday morning, a Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre bulletin said.

Nandakini and Pindar rivers in Chamoli district are also flowing below the danger level.

However, the Char Dham Yatra continued to be affected with the highways leading to the major shrines of Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri blocked at a number of places.

The Rishikesh-Badrinath highway is blocked by debris falling from hillsides at Lambagad, Pagalnala and Bhanerpani.

However, the road to Kedarnath is open for both small and big vehicles up to Sonprayag from where only one pilgrim went to the high altitude shrine on Sunday to pay obeisance.

President and Prime Minister expressed grief over the loss of lives in the state, where a mid-June deluge had wreaked havoc and killed more than 5,000 people, including pilgrims last year.

Seven people were killed in Dehradun’s Rajpur area due to landslides.

Fright stretch after seven people from two different families were trodden to death as the buildings they stayed in, at Kathbangla near Sai temple on the Dehradun-Mussoorie Road, were brought down in an enormous landslide at 4.15 am.

Last year in June as well, at least 5,000 people died in the massive natural disaster which hit the Himalayan state.