31 dead, 40 missing in Uttarkashi flash floods

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Dehradun:  In the worst tragedy to hit Uttarkashi in more than 30 years, 31 people have died and at least 40 are feared missing in the flash floods that occurred late on Friday night. The MeT department has warned of more heavy rains today.

A cloud burst in the middle of Friday night triggered landslides and flash floods, which destroyed hundreds of homes in the Uttarkashi area. The cloud burst swept away bridges and a large chunk of the Gangotri national highway.

Chardham yatra has been suspended to all four shrines with hundreds of pilgrims stranded.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and state disaster management forces are currently involved in the rescue operations. About 200 families have been evacuated from low lying regions of Uttarkashi and moved to higher ground.

"Nearly 2000 people have been affected in the floods. 200 families have been displaced and have been arranged to live in a relief camps like bhavans and schools. Seven people are missing till now in the Gangotri river," Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said.

In Varanasi, the level of Ganga has risen by more than an inch and the ghats, where daily ceremonies usually take place, are submerged in water. Several residents have been evacuated from the affected area.

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