Uttarakhand,02 July, 2016: At least 33 people were killed following a cloudburst in Chamoli and Pittoragarh districts of Uttarakhand on Friday even as rains continued to lash the hilly state leading to rise in water level of all major rivers in the region.
The home ministry had on Friday deployed 3 NDRF teams to take stock of the situation after the Alaknanda river rose above the danger level mark after the state received incessant rainfall in the last 48 hours.
The met department has issued a warning of very heavy rainfall for the next three days as schools in all 13 districts of Uttarakhand will remain closed on Saturday.
The death toll due to the tragedy may rise as the authorities fear that many could be trapped under the debris after their houses collapsed or were swept away due to the floods that followed the cloud burst.
ITBP officials have revealed that at least 7 bodies have been pulled out from debris in Pittoragarh and a separate team has been deployed to conduct rescue operations in Nolda village, 35 kms from Mirthi in Pittoragarh district.
The maximum damage was inflicted on Basted village where at least 30 people were feared to be trapped in the debris.
More than 60 houses were flattened due to the cloud burst after incessant rains in the region. As many as 200 cattle have reportedly died in the villages.
The Rishikesh highway however has been opened for traffic after the authorities cleared the area following land slides that stranded dozens of vehicles on both sides.
Earlier, Chief Minister Harish Rawat had on Friday announced a compensation of 2 lakh rupees for the kin of the deceased.
We are saddened by the news of the deaths.A compensation of rupees 2 lakh has been announced for the kin of the deceased,” Rawat had said.
Large tracts of agriculture fields were destroyed in Suva village of the Dharchula area and three bridges linking the village have been washed away.
The Thal-Munsyari road was also cut-off and dozens of vehicles remained stranded on both sides.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh too had expressed grief over the deaths and had promised to do the needful.
Santosh Badoni, deputy director, state disaster management centre had said that it was getting difficult for the rescue team to communicate with the authorities in Pittoragarh.
The Yamunotri highway, near Kharadi, was also damaged leading to traffic being halted.
Entry of heavy vehicles was halted on the Kedarnath highway after a landslide at Gangolgaon.
In June 2013, nearly 6,000 people, including pilgrims and tourists, were killed by floods and landslides in the state, destroying hundreds of villages and towns in one of the country’s worst natural disasters.