Incessant rain claims 23 more lives in Uttarakhand, Nainital cut off from rest of state


India

oi-Madhuri Adnal

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Dehradun/Nainital, Oct 19: Twenty-three more people were reported killed in Uttarakhand on Tuesday as houses collapsed due to incessant rain in various parts of the state, leaving many trapped under the debris.

Uttarakhand

The death toll now stands at 28 with the Kumaon region being the worst hit. Five deaths were reported on Monday, according to the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC). Eighteen deaths were reported from Nainital, three from Almora and one each from Champawat and Udham Singh Nagar districts on Tuesday, the SEOC said.

In Nainital, five people went missing after three houses, including a hut, collapsed following landslides in Kainchi Dham, Chaukhuta and Ramgarh villages. One person went missing in Almora and two in Champawat district, it said.

Director General of Police Ashok Kumar, who accompanied Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on a visit to the rain-hit areas of the Kumaon region, said roads, bridges and railway tracks have been damaged in Kathgodam and Lalkuan in Nainital and Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar. It will take at least four-five days to repair the damaged tracks, Kumar told PTI. Nainital remained cut off from the rest of the state for the second day as landslides blocked three roads leading to the district.

16 dead in two days as heavy rainfall batters Uttarakhand16 dead in two days as heavy rainfall batters Uttarakhand

The district’s Mall Road and the Naina Devi temple located along the banks of the Naini lake were flooded, while a hostel building was damaged due to landslides. Around 100 people were stranded at the Lemon Tree resort on the Ramnagar-Ranikhet route after water from a swollen Kosi river entered the resort. Electricity, telecom and internet connectivity in Nainital have also been hit badly. Three Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters have arrived in the state and are assisting in relief and rescue operations.

Two of them have been deployed in Nainital district, which has suffered extensive damage due to cloudbursts and landslides, Dhami said. The third helicopter is assisting in rescue operations in the Garhwal region, he said.

Accompanied by Disaster Management Minister Dhan Singh Rawat and the DGP, Dhami conducted an aerial survey of the affected areas and said there has been extensive damage. He said the focus is on evacuating stranded people to safety. The chief minister appealed to people not to panic as every step was being taken to save the lives of those in danger. He said the meteorological department has predicted an improvement in weather conditions from Tuesday evening onwards.

Dhami also reiterated his appeal to Chardham Yatra pilgrims to stay where they are and not to resume their journeys before the weather improved. He also asked the district magistrates of Chamoli and Rudraprayag to take special care of pilgrims stranded on the Chardham Yatra route. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Dhami on the phone to take stock of the situation and assured him of all help. The SEOC said that most rivers in the state are in spate.

The water level in the Ganga in Haridwar has reached 293.90 metres, just a notch below the danger mark of 294 metres. Kali and Saryu rivers in Pithoragarh have reached the danger marks of 890 metres and 453 metres respectively.

The Gori river is flowing close to the danger mark at 606.75 metres, it said. Nainital received 90 mm of rainfall, Haldwani 128 mm, Koshyakutoli 86.6 mm, Almora 216. 6 mm, Dwarahot 184 mm and Jageshwar 176 mm, the SEOC said.

Story first published: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 21:59 [IST]



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