Red alert sounded as rains batter Uttarakhand; 17 dead
The Himalayan state of Uttarakhand has been battered by non-stop heavy rains since Sunday night. Earlier, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a red alert for heavy to very heavy rains. The incessant rains have triggered landslides, flooding, and snowfall in the state. Seventeen people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami is taking stock of the situation.
Death toll mounts to 17; 100 tourists rescued
In the past two days, 17 people have been killed in Uttarakhand due to landslides and floods triggered by the incessant rains. Around 100 tourists had to be rescued from the Lemon Tree resort located on the Ramnagar-Ranikhet route. Reportedly, the Badrinath Highway has been blocked by debris in Chamoli. Authorities have urged pilgrims to stop traveling till the weather clears.
PM Modi reviews flood situation; dials Uttarakhand CM
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to CM Dhami and Union Minister Ajay Bhatt about the evolving situation in the state. Modi had also met Uttarakhand Governor Lieutenant General Gurmit Singh on Monday to discuss the emerging crisis. Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel had also held a telephonic discussion with CM Dhami and requested him to provide assistance to stranded pilgrims from the state.
Rivers flowing close to danger mark
The Mandakini and Nandakini rivers in Uttarakhand are flowing close to the danger mark. Reportedly, the Talla region in Ramgarh has been entirely submerged in floodwaters. People could be seen stranded on their rooftops as water rushed into their homes. Several bridges have also been washed away in the state. All gates of the Nanak Sagar Dam in Udham Singh Nagar have been opened.
Landslides and floods in Nainital
Nainital—a popular tourist spot—has been cut off from the rest of the state as landslides and cloudbursts have resulted in three highways being blocked: Nainital-Bhowali Road, Nainital-Haldwani Road, and Nainital-Kaladhungi Road. Several people are stranded on these roads. The administration is trying to offer them food and relief materials. Meanwhile, waters from the overflowing Nainital Lake have flooded streets and houses.
Char Dham Yatra temporarily halted
The Char Dham Devasthanam Board has temporarily halted the Char Dham Yatra in the state due to the worsening situation. CM Dhami has appealed to tourists and pilgrims to avoid traveling and stay in safe locations in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Shrinagar, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Guptkashi, Ukhimath, Karnaprayag, Joshimath, and Pandukeshwar. Around 4,000 Kedarnath-Badrinath pilgrims have gathered in Joshimath. Another 2,000 pilgrims are still in Kedarnath.
Snowfall in Chamoli, Pithoragarh
Amid the inclement weather, Uttarakhand has also received snowfall in the upper reaches of the state, including the Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts. Peaks beyond Kedarnath and Badrinath have also received light snowfall. The Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham in Uttarakhand have also received snowfall. Meanwhile, several areas in the state have lost power due to disruptions in power transmission.