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Uttarakhand rains: Death toll mounts to 54, five still missing; Chardham Yatra resumed


Image Source : PTI

NDRF personnel rescue people stranded in floodwaters in Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar.

Heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand for the last four days triggered landslides and flash floods, causing disaster in several districts. A total of 54 people have lost their lives while 19 others are injured. At least five people are still missing.

The roads were flooded in many districts and buildings, bridges were destroyed. Several water bodies are overflowing in the hilly state, leaving locals and tourists stranded. While Ranikhet and Almora were completely cut off due to heavy rain and landslides yesterday, connectivity in Nainital was almost disconnected.

Authorities say that the death toll could rise as people may be trapped under debris. According to the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), over 1,300 people have now been evacuated.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is in Uttarakhand to take stock of the situation in the rain-ravaged parts. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt and Uttarakhand BJP president Madan Kaushik received Shah at the Jollygrant Airport on his arrival around midnight on Wednesday.

Shah will hold a series of meetings with state government officials and make an aerial survey of the flood hit parts of the state.

Last night, after reaching Dehradun, Shah discussed the progress of ongoing relief operations with Dhami and top officials and other central agencies.

The Indian Army’s three helicopters have been deployed for rescue operations while state and national disaster response forces have already been pressed for relief and rescue operations.

According to NDRF officials, 15 self contained teams have been deployed in the state. Out of these, six teams have been stationed in Udham Singh Nagar district while two teams each are placed at Uttarkashi and Chamoli and one team each at Dehradun, Pithoragarh and Haridwar. Similarly, one full team is also deployed in Nainital while one sub team is stationed at Almora.

CM Dhami has been making aerial surveys with his other Cabinet colleagues to assess the damage and directing the state officials for rescue and relief works. Dhami along with MoS Defence Ajay Bhatt and State minister Dhan Singh Rawat on Wednesday visited cloudburst-affected Ramgarh in Nainital.

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