Uttarakhand Rains: Over 1,300 people have been evacuated from flood-affected areas in Uttarakhand. (File)
Heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand for the fourth consecutive day has led to chaos and disaster across the hilly state, with flooded roads and buildings, destroyed bridges and overflowing water bodies leaving locals and tourists stranded - some in remote and dangerous locations.
Uttarakhand's Ranikhet and Almora were completely cut off from plains for the second straight day today due to heavy rain and landslides, while connectivity in Nainital disappeared for most of the day yesterday.
At least 52 people have been reported dead in the state, many of whom were found in the rubble of collapsed buildings, as a result of aggressive landslides and flash floods. The casualties have left authorities fearing for the lives of people who may be trapped under debris.
However, over 1,300 people have now been evacuated from Uttarakhand by the National Disaster Response Force.
Meanwhile, forty-two people have died due to rains and landslides between October 12 and 20, while six people are missing, said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) data shows that the southern state has received 135 per cent excess rain during the period from October 1 to 19.
During the heavy spell on October 16 when the IMD issued a red alert indicating extremely heavy rainfall, numerous incidents of landslips and other rain-related accidents were reported from south-central districts of Kerala, resulting in 39 people dead and 217 homes destroyed.
Here are the Highlights on Rains and Floods nationwide, including in Uttarakhand and Kerala:
Home Minister Amit Shah Arrives At Dehradun Airport In Rain-Hit Uttarakhand
Haryana Chief Minister Announces Rs 5 Crore Aid To Rain-Hit Uttarakhand
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has said the state will provide financial assistance of Rs 5 crore to the Uttarakhand government in view of the natural calamity in the state. "Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal has announced to provide financial assistance of Rs 5 crore to the Uttarakhand government in view of the natural calamity in Uttarakhand," DPR Haryana tweeted.
Earlier on the day, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the families of 46 people who died due to heavy rains in the state.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami Visits Cloudburst-Hit Nainital District
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami along with MoS Defence Ajay Bhatt and State minister Dhan Singh Rawat on Wednesday visited cloudburst-affected Ramgarh in Nainital.
Speaking to ANI, the chief minister said road connectivity is affected and the government is trying to restore it as soon as possible.
"Road connectivity to this place is severely affected. We are trying to restore connectivity at the earliest. A post-mortem has been done of those who died due to cloudburst," he said.
Speaking on 'Char Dham Yatra' which was halted due to incessant rain in the region, Mr Dhami said the Yatra has also resumed now.
Business under Chief Minister's self-employment scheme washed away in Uttarakhand's landslide
Naveen Joshi, a pisciculturist at Ramgarh area of Nainital, was all set to sell his fish which he had nurtured for the past one year.
For this, Joshi had availed a loan of Rs 4 lakh under the Mukhyamantri Swarojgar Yojana last year. He was positive about earning Rs 5 lakh through this business.
Little did he know that a landslide in Nainital on October 18 would wash away everything that he had.
Heavy downpour leading to landslide swept away two fish tanks of 2,000 litres each, which he had built for commercial purpose, and also 10,500-square-foot land. Landslide due to unprecedented rainfall in the past three days has damaged his house.
The extent of loss is such that Mr Joshi is stupefied whether he should repair his house or look for livelihood as he has incurred a loss of Rs 5 lakh due to this natural calamity.
Relocating people from risk-prone areas can avert loss of life during calamities: Kerala Chief Minister
To prevent loss of lives in natural calamities like floods and landslides during heavy rains, which recently claimed 42 lives in Kerala, people should be relocated from risk-prone areas like low-lying and hilly regions, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters, he said usually people living in such areas do not move out even in the face of impending danger, which indicates the need to be more vigilant in moving forward.
He said of the 42 lives lost between October 12 and 20, a total of 19 were due to landslides. Earlier in the day during the Assembly session, he had said 39 lives were lost till October 19 due to the rains.
Uttarakhand rains: Passengers compelled to spend night in roadways bus
A group of tourists visiting Nainital said they were stranded in a state roadways bus after the connectivity to one of Uttarakhand's popular gateways was snapped due to flooding and landslide following incessant rain.
According to tourists, they were rescued by the Uttarakhand police after Collector of Nashik district in Maharashtra raised alarm.
Ashish Holder, a tourist from Maharashtra's Nashik said, "We were a group of 27 persons. We come to Nainital from Maharashtra. On October 18, it started raining heavily. We had a reservation to leave from here, so we went to the bus stop at 7.00 pm."
Holder said the bus could not leave for its destination because of bad weather and possibility of landslides.
Uttarakhand landslips: 92 out of 96 stranded people from Karnataka safe
As many as 96 people from Karnataka are stranded in Uttarakhand following heavy floods and landslides, of which 92 are confirmed safe, an official said.
According to the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority commissioner Manoj Rajan, arrangements have been made to bring those who are confirmed safe.
He said that among the four people about whom the KSDMA has no information as of now three are marooned in Badrinath and are incommunicado.
"We have no information about them because they are not reachable due to connectivity issue. We hope they too are safe," Rajan told PTI.
The fourth missing person from Karnataka is a soldier with the Border Security Force (BSF) and the BSF control room has been informed about it, the official said.
He added that the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) received 10 calls.
Dalai Lama expresses concern over deaths due to rainfall in Uttarakhand
The Dalai Lama on Wednesday wrote to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami expressing his deep sadness about the loss of lives and the hardship caused to many people following heavy rainfall in the hill state.
Forty-six people have died and at least 11 remain missing due to rains that battered Uttarakhand for over two days since Sunday night and some are still feared buried under the debris of collapsed houses in its aftermath.
"I offer my condolences to those who have lost loved ones, and pray for them. I also pray for the safety and well-being of people still reportedly trapped under debris and in flooded areas," the Dalai Lama wrote in the letter.
"I very much appreciate that the State Government is engaged in rescue work and is doing its utmost to provide relief to people affected by this calamity," the Nobel laureate said.
Uttarakhand rains: Chamoli District Magistrate asks BRO to clear route from Joshimath to Badrinath
After inspecting the landslide area near Vishnuprayag on Badrinath National Highway in rain-battered Uttarakhand, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was on Wednesday directed to clear the route from Joshimath to Badrinath, informed Chamoli District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana.
"The landslide area near Vishnuprayag on Badrinath National Highway was inspected and the BRO has been directed to clear the route from Joshimath to Badrinath at the earliest," said Mr Khurana.
The district administration on Tuesday informed that Badrinath Highway in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand has been completely blocked due to debris at seven places following incessant rains over the last 48 hours.
There has been a power cut as well since Monday night in several areas including the district headquarters.
As a precautionary measure, the Badrinath Char Dham Yatra has been halted, and passengers en route to Badrinath Temple were stopped and shifted to safer places.
According to the administration, 2,500 devotees, who had gone to Badrinath, are still stationed at the Badrinath Temple waiting for the highway to re-open.
Flood: Central team visits Assam to assess damages; state seeks funds
A high-level Inter-Ministerial Central Team visited various districts of Assam for an on-spot assessment of damages caused by flood and landslides this year, while the state government urged it for release of funds for repair and restoration works, an official statement said on Wednesday.
On the visit since October 19, the team comprising seven members from various union ministries discussed the details at a meeting with senior Assam government officials in Guwahati on Wednesday.
The state government has requested the team for release of Rs 1088.19 crore it had sought for repair and restoration works, the statement issued by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said.
The team headed by Manish Tiwari, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, talked about the damages and loss of livelihood and property in the districts of Bongaigaon, Chirang and Lakhimpur it had visited.
"The state government urged the central team to consider releasing funds under the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for restoration of damages during current year flood," the statement said.
It said the team was also requested to consider erosion as an item admissible under SDRF/NDRF in their report to the Centre as the state suffers heavily due to river erosion every year.
Heavy rainfall, landslides, cuts off highway linking Gangtok, flooding in low lying North Bengal areas
Torrential rains pounded the tiny Himalayan state of Sikkim and the tea growing region of North Bengal, causing landslides which cut off National Highway-10, the main road linking Gangtok with the rest of the country.
Normal life in parts of the tea growing north Bengal was also affected on Wednesday as torrential showers in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri districts triggered landslides causing damages to roads and bridges, halting or constricting traffic in various places, officials said.
Hundreds of tourists, who have thronged the hills during the Durga Puja season, are facing difficulties in travelling to their next destination or reaching railway stations or the Bagdogra airport to return home, owing to the incessant rain and landslides, officials said.
The incessant downpour Wednesday saw landslides blocking the crucial National Highway-10, used both by civilian and military traffic, at the 29th Mile area in West Bengal, around 60 km from the Himalayan state's Rangpo border.
Another landslide occurred at Pani House here this morning, disrupting vehicular movement, officials said.
Attempts were on to remove the debris from the road to reopen it at least partially.
Sikkim Rains: Heavy Rains Trigger Multiple Landslides, Snap Bridges
Normal life was thrown out of gear in Sikkim today as torrential rain caused landslides at several places, blocking the National Highway-10 and snapping the arterial road link with neighbouring West Bengal, officials said.
Four metal support pillars of Rangpo Bridge on National Highway-10 connecting Sikkim to Bengal were swept away last night due to heavy flow of water in the Teesta river. The authorities have started restricting movement of vehicles on the bridge.
The downpour also damaged crops and properties at several places, the officials said.
Another landslide occurred at Pani House this morning, disrupting vehicular movement, the officials said, adding that the efforts were underway to remove the debris from the road.
As the rain continued to batter the state, a large number of people have been rescued to safe places and relief materials have been sent to the affected areas.
Uttarakhand Rains: 17 National Disaster Response Force deployed, 1,300 people evacuated
A total of 17 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are conducting rescue and relief operations amid heavy rains in Uttarakhand, said NDRF Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Mohsen Shahedi on Wednesday.
Talking to ANI, Shahed informed that as many as 1,300 people had been evacuated and taken to safe places across the state, while 46 people have lost their lives.
Uttarakhand Rains: Nainital-Kaladhungi road reopens for traffic, tourists evacuated safely, says police
Uttarakhand Director-General of Police (DGP) Ashok Kumar today said that the route to Nainital from Kaladhungi, which was blocked due to heavy rain that triggered a series of landslides, has been reopened and that tourists have safely left the area.
"The route for Nainital from Kaladhungi has re-opened. All the tourists stuck at that place have left and are safe," said the DGP.
The senior police officer has however said that the main road from Haldwani to Almora continues to be blocked and it will take time to restore the connectivity.
West Bengal Rains: Torrential rain, landslides damage bridges, strand tourists
Torrential rains in the neighbouring states of Sikkim and West Bengal have damaged bridges and roads and left scores of tourists stranded.
West Bengal Update:
Darjeeling and north Bengal are particularly impacted, such that several roads in Darjeeling have been blocked after 36 hours of incessant rainfall that has triggered landslides.
A cloudburst over Bengal's Kalimpong last night turned the Teesta and its tributaries into raging rivers.
Following heavy rain, one of the landslides hit the highway at 29th Mile area in West Bengal, around 60 km from Sikkim's Rangpo border.
At the Balason Bridge at Bengal's Siliguri connecting the hills to Bagdogra Airport, a pillar has bent, forcing police to shut it. Only two wheelers are being allowed.
At least 60 to 70 tourists are stranded near Lava in Kalimpong due to landslides in city where there has also been a casualty in a road accident due to a treefall.
The police have issued an advisory to avoid all non-essential travel in the affected districts.
Yesterday, the weather office had issued red alert warning for Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Today, that has stepped down to yellow. But Orange flags are up for the other north Bengal districts, including Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar.
Unseasonal rainfall affects various parts of West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, in addition to Uttarakhand
Kerala Rains: Ham Radios To Aid Rescue Operation During Heavy Floods In State
Even as the incessant rains and resultant flooding disrupted lives across central Kerala, ham radio enthusiasts have quietly swung into action in Thrissur district, setting up their unique work stations to ensure a steady stream of communication.
The district administration in Kerala has sought the service of Ham radio operators to coordinate disaster relief operations in case the communication system gets cut off due to any rain-related incident.
Kerala Rains: 39 dead, 217 Homes Destroyed In Devastating Landslides And Flash Floods, Says Chief Minister
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today said a total of 39 people had lost their lives and 217 houses had been destroyed completely in the devastating landslides and flash floods that had occurred in the south-central districts of the state recently.
Expressing profound grief over the rain-related calamities, Mr Vijayan said the unexpected tragedy was unbearable not only for the victims' family members but also for the entire state.
"39 people, who would have lived for many years, were killed in the four days of torrential rains, floods and landslides. The tragedy has caused irreparable loss to their family members. The House is sharing their pain with a broken heart," the Chief Minister said in the Assembly.
Assuring that the government would never abandon the grieving families, he said its care and consideration would be reflected in the rescue and relief measures and the restoration of their livelihood conditions.
Uttarakhand Rains: 2 bodies have been recovered today by National Disaster Response Force in area affected by Nainital cloudburst yesterday
Uttarakhand rains: Connectivity in Nainital restored
Connectivity to Nainital was restored late last night after hours of struggle, officials told PTI.
With electricity, telecom and internet connectivity in city remaining badly hit throughout the day yesterday, the services were still patchy even after restoration, added officials.
Uttarakhand Rains: National Disaster Response Force chief says 15 NDRF teams deployed; tourists, citizens evacuated
Uttarakhand Rains: Stranded Tourists In Nainital Trek Their Way to Safety
As heavy rain and landslides blocked connectivity to Uttarakhand's Nainital, one of the country's most popular mountain getaways, scores of stranded tourists had to trek their way to safety on Tuesday.
Visuals this morning showed men, women and children being evacuated by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The tourists were seen walking with their belongings on a hillside ravaged by three-day rain that caused rockfalls and landslides, cutting off roads in Nainital.
Uttarakhand Rains: State Disaster Response Force carries out rescue operations
Uttarakhand Floods: Uttarakhand's Ranikhet, Almora Cut Off Amid Rain, Fuel Only For Emergency
Uttarakhand's Ranikhet and Almora remain cut off from the plains - and the former was today forced to ration fuel for emergency services - for a second consecutive day, as the hilly state battles floods and landslides triggered by four consecutive days of heavy rain.
There is little or no fuel available in Ranikhet (around 320 km from Dehradun); what is left has been reserved for emergency services. Low-voltage electricity has been restored after 24 hours, and fibre optic cables (providing telephone and internet services) have been cut in multiple locations.
In Almora (around 345 km from Dehradun), seven people died yesterday, news agency ANI reported.
Overall, at least 46 people have died in rain-related incidents across the state; senior police officer Nilesh Anand Bharne told news agency PTI 47 had died, with most deaths (42) in the Kumaon region.
Uttarakhand Rains: Repair efforts after multiple landslides across the state