Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand

Updated: June 24, 2013 12:38 IST

Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand

Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
Nearly 15,000 people remain stranded in Uttarakhand; the return of bad weather is impeding rescue operations. Helicopters have not been able to fly this morning, and landslides late on Sunday night have blocked major routes that were being used to evacuate people by foot.

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Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
Military helicopters have been grounded because of bad weather, suspending the evacuation by air of those still stranded, many without food and water, in remote areas of the state.

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Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
5,000 pilgrims are stranded in and around the holy town of Badrinath; not a single helicopter has been able to take off so far to help them.

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Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
The other areas that are tough to reach are Guptakashi and Gauchar which are enveloped in mist and intermittent rain.

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Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
There have been two major landslides reported near Rudraprayag, serving as a major base camp for rescue operations, which have blocked a main road that is being used to carry relief supplies. Bulldozers have been deployed to clear the road.

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Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
670 people are reported dead so far, but Uttarakhand's Disaster Management Minister Yashpal Arya has told reporters that he expects the death toll to touch 5,000. Officials warn many more bodies are yet to be pulled out from isolated areas that are completely cut-off.

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Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
Preparations are underway for a mass cremation in the flood-ravaged holy town of Kedarnath amid concerns of an outbreak of disease from rotting bodies, officials said. Large amounts of ghee and wood are to be ferried by helicopter when the weather improves.

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Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
The Met Department has forecast heavy rain over the next four days, but says there will be pockets of clear weather when helicopter rescue sorties can be made.

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Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
80,000 people have been evacuated since torrential hit on June 15 in peak tourist season centred on a pilgrimage to four shrines in Uttarkhand.

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Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
Soldiers along with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police have been using harnesses and erecting rope bridges across flooded rivers as part of efforts to move people to safety.

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Rain and landslides hit rescue ops in Uttarakhand
More than 1,000 bridges have been damaged along with roads, cutting off hard-hit villages and towns.

For more information, go to www.ndtv.com/sos

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