Uttarakhand rains continue to take lives; impose severe damage to state

rescue teamRescue Team at work in Uttarakhand rains disaster (File source: Business Standards)

Union Home Minister, Amit Shah conducted an aerial survey to assess the damage caused.  

Uttarakhand floods
Damage caused by Uttarakhand rains (File source: Quint)

Uttarakhand witnessed several deaths over the past four days of incessant downpour accompanied by landslides and floods, with the total toll standing at 54, today, as per the state government record.

PIB report

In addition to the fatalities, the state also records a missing report of five and 19 injuries till today morning.

“Among the 54 deaths, maximum 28 were from Nainital district which is the worst affected. Champawat was next with 8 reported deaths followed by Almora with 6.” stated the latest government report.

According to official sources, majority of the deaths were due to house collapses. Forty-six of such houses suffered damages.

Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah, conducted an aerial survey to review the State’s situation.

Earlier on Wednesday, Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, undertook an aerial survey of the affected areas along with state Disaster Management Minister, Dhan Singh Rawat and state Director General of Police (DGP), Ashok Kumar to assess the damage caused by the rains.

He told reporters there has already been huge damage and that it will take time for the State to return to normalcy. “We want to assure the people that our government is with them in this hour of need. We are providing every possible help including food and medicines to the needy and will continue to do so,” he added.

Dhami has sanctioned Rs 10 crore each to district magistrates for the relief efforts and rescue operations.

On Tuesday, Dhami had announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the families of those who had lost their lives to the lashes of rain.

In its forecast, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has stated that rainfall will reduce significantly with the state likely to stay dry for the rest of the week.

The Army, along with multiple teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and local authorities are conducting the rescue and relief operations. The NDRF has rescued more than 1,300 people from flood-affected areas in the state, so far, and enhanced its rescue teams from 15 to 17.

Six of the 17 NDRF teams have been deployed in Udham Singh Nagar with two teams stationed in Uttarkashi, Chamoli and one each in Dehradun, Champawat, Pithoragarh and Haridwar, said a NDRF spokesperson.

Earlier, Nainital was cut off from the rest of the state as the three roads leading to this popular tourist spot was blocked due to a series of landslides.

Also as promised, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi assisted with the necessary aid in this concerning situation, tweeted Amit Shah.

Nobel Laureate, Dalai Lama expressed his concern over the State’s horrendous situation, yesterday. He wrote a letter to Dhami in which he said, “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.”

Also earlier, Gujarat Chief Minister, Bhupendra Patel (hyperlink) spoke to his Uttarakhand counterpart regarding Gujarati pilgrims stuck in the northern state following the continuous rains and urged him to extend all possible help to the visitors.

According to a rough estimate, around 100 pilgrims from different parts of Gujarat, who went to Uttarakhand for the Chardham Yatra, were stranded following heavy rains and landslides there, Gujarat Revenue Minister Rajendra Trivedi, said.

(By own reporter)