Heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand for the third 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.
34 people have been reported dead, including labourers from Nepal who were buried alive by rubble, and people from Champawat district where a house collapsed after a landslide. The casualties have left authorities fearing for the lives of people who may be trapped under debris.
Amid the chaos, the Nainital lake has overflowed, an under-construction bridge over the Chalthi river has been washed away due to a rise in water levels, and a car with passengers inside got caught between two boulders in the middle of a swollen stream.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert for Uttarakhand with a forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall in the state on Monday.
In what will come as some relief going forward, the weather department has indicated a "significant reduction in rainfall activity over Uttarakhand from today", predicting "isolated to scattered" showers.
Here are the Highlights on the Uttarakhand Rains and Floods:
Situation in Garhwal is almost under control, routes have been reopened & 'Char Dham Yatra' will be resumed from tomorrow. Rain aftermath more in Kumaon areas- Naintal, Haldwani, Udham Singh Nagar, Champawat: Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar on review meeting with CM in wake of rains pic.twitter.com/PXJLdini6i- ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2021
Due to heavy rains and landslides in Almora, 7 people have been reported dead since last night. A house in Raapad village, Bhikiyasan was hit by a landslide last nigth, killing 4 people living in the house, while a woman was rescued by the villagers: PIB, Uttarakhand- ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over the death of 34 people due to heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand and said rescue operations are underway after landslides and flash floods engulfed several structures in the hill state.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said, "So far 34 people have died and five are missing. Rs 4 lakh compensation will be given to the families of the deceased. Those who lost their houses will be given Rs 1.9 lakh. All possible help to be extended to those who lost their livestock," he said.
At least 22 people are dead as heavy rainfall battered Uttarakhand for a third straight day today, leaving authorities fearing for the lives of many more who may be trapped under debris and in flooded areas. Read more.
"...Some people are trapped in Joshimath due to landslides. Gujarat CM spoke to Uttarakhand CM on the current situation. Both the States are working together to evacuate people as soon as possible." Rajendra Trivedi, Gujarat Disaster Management Minister added- ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2021
Incessant rains continued to lash various parts of Uttarakhand today, especially the Kumaon region, razing houses to the ground and leaving many trapped in the debris.
Nainital was cut off from the rest of the state with three roads leading to the popular tourist spot blocked due to a series of landslides.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami assured that three Army helicopters will soon arrive to assist in relief and rescue operations underway in the state.
Sixteen people have been reported dead, including labourers from Nepal who were buried alive by rubble, and people from Champawat district where a house collapsed after a landslide. The casualties have left authorities fearing for the lives of people who may be trapped under debris.
"Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah have been briefed on the situation. Houses, bridges etc. have been damaged and 16 people have died so far. Three (Army) helicopters to be deployed for rescue operations," Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami was quoted by news agency ANI.
Ten teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on duty in the state. NDRF chief Satya Pradhan tweeted some photos and videos this morning that showed rescue personnel in action in the rain-battered town of Rudraprayag.
While many such videos are being shared on social media, a clip of an elephant stranded in the raging flood at Nainital near the Jim Corbett Park went viral earlier today.
The State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) in Uttarakhand has teams conducting overnight rescue operations, amid a flood-like situation triggered by heavy rains in the state.
The SDRF said that today was very challenging due to incessant heavy rain. The calls for rescue kept on coming throughout the night and a quick response was given by the teams.
On Monday, in the overnight operation, the rescue team conducted many operations in different places across the state and rescued over 50 people, including 22 devotees stuck in incessant rainfall while returning from the Kedarnath temple, four labourers and many vehicles that were stuck in debris due to the landslide, and a girl trapped in a collapsed house.
Uttarakhand: An incident of cloudburst reported in a village of Ramgarh in Nainital district. People feared trapped under the debris. Teams of Police and administration rushed to the spot. Details awaited. pic.twitter.com/B1qTzUIzZI- ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2021
Around 100 people were stuck at Lemon Tree Resort (in pics) located at Ramnagar-Ranikhet route. All of them are safe & process to rescue them is on. Water from Kosi River entered the resort after the river overflowed, blocking the route to the resort: Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar pic.twitter.com/2UUmWJaaYR- ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2021
I'm here somewhere near Ranikhet. Incessant rains since last 2 days. No electricity since morning. Mobile working so far. Huge tree fell & blocked the road just 100 meters away from where I'm staying. Main roads blocked at places. Seems can't get back at least for next few days. https://t.co/r4WPw8v30rpic.twitter.com/qpedalwxF5- Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) October 19, 2021
#UttarakhandRains Update- ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्य नारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ୟ ପ୍ରଧାନ (@satyaprad1) October 19, 2021
🔸Hvy rains in Uttarakhand
🔸Flooding at places
🔸10 tms of @NDRFHQ depld
🔸Day & nt Ops ON
🔸citizens evacuated safely
🔸#NDRF in action-Rudrapur town👇@HMOIndia@PMOIndia@BhallaAjay26@PIBHomeAffairs@PIBDehradun@ANI@DDNewsHindipic.twitter.com/jBD6FU0ASX
A car, with passengers on board, was pulled to safety by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) after it got stuck in a landslide in Uttarakhand on Monday.
#WATCH | An under construction bridge, over a raging Chalthi River in Champawat, washed away due to rise in the water level caused by incessant rainfall in parts of Uttarakhand. pic.twitter.com/AaLBdClIwe- ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2021