Dehradun: At least 10 people have died and 19 others are missing after torrential rains continued in Uttarakhand today, triggering landslides and flash floods, which destroyed homes. Hundreds of pilgrims have also been stranded with the Chardham Yatra coming to a grinding halt.
In the worst natural tragedy to hit the Uttarkashi district since 1978, a cloud burst in the middle of the night drowned three fire brigade personnel.
The cloud burst swept away bridges and a large chunk of the Gangotri national highway last night. 250 personnel from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police along with teams from state disaster management are currently involved in the rescue operations.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna was monitoring the situation and has asked the concerned authorities to launch rescue and relief operation in the disaster-hit areas.
"Government is trying to help against this fury of nature. I want to tell the people of Uttarakhand that the government will not fall back in providing relief to the affected. Everyone should have patience and move to safer areas, don't wait for any authorities to come and ask you to move. All people living in villages bordering the banks of the river, they should be cautious and move out as soon as possible," he said.
The Garhwal region bore the brunt of nature's fury with the government sounding a high alert in the state after the MeT department's warning of very heavy rains.
Two children were killed in a house collapse at Kararnprayag area of Chamoli district early today, said sources in the Disaster Management and Mitigation Centre (DMMC) here.
Another child was washed away in the flash floods at Pokhri area of the district where landslides continue to hit blocking highways leading to Badrinath. Hundreds of Badrinath pilgrims were stranded at various places at Patalganga, Lambagar and Birahi due to fresh landslips.
In the Gangori area of Uttarkashi, Bhagirathi is flowing above the danger level; people are being evacuated to safer areas.
Nearly 30 homes were washed away in the floods with the Gangori bridge also collapsing.
"We have now reports that three jawans of the fire brigade were killed in Gangori," said state disaster management minister Yashpal Arya.
The yatra for Kedarnath shrine was also suspended, the sources said.
(With inputs from PTI)
Story first published:
August 04, 2012 13:08 IST