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Uttarakhand rains: 25 dead, roads, houses washed away; Pics, videos of disaster go viral

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Uttarakhand rains: 25 dead, roads, houses washed away; Pics, videos of disaster go viral

New Delhi: As heavy rain continued to lash Uttarakhand on Tuesday, at least 25 people are reported to have lost their lives while several went missing as cloudburst and flooding devastated the hilly state for the third straight day. More people may be trapped under debris, as per reports. At least 11 people have died so far on Tuesday while many others are feared trapped in different parts of the state.

Also Read :- IMD predicts "heavy rainfall" in these states from today, deets here!

A cloudburst was reported in Ramgarh area of the Nainital district. On the other hand, videos showed the Naini Lake overflowing and inundating roads, coffee shops and nearby areas. Videos from Nainital and other regions are showing water gushing down the streets and bridges, train tracks being washed away.

Nainital SSP Priyadarshani told media, “Some injured have been rescued from the spot where cloudburst occurred in a village of Ramgarh in Nainital district, their actual number is yet to be ascertained.”

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has said a total of 16 people have died over the past two days while many others are trapped under debris after cloudbursts and landslides.

Nainital has been completely cut off from the rest of Uttarakhand with the arterial roads connecting the popular tourist destination being blocked due to a series of landslides.

Videos from Nainital show the famous Naini Lake overflowing and flooding the streets. Water has entered buildings and houses in the vicinity of the lake after incessant heavy rainfall for the past two days.

The rains have led to scenes of chaos and disaster, with scary visuals emerging of roads and buildings flooded and submerged, bridges destroyed and rivers overflowing. Picturesque Nainital district has been cut off from after three access roads were blocked by landslides. The Nainital Lake in Nainital overflowed flooding the iconic Mall Road and water entered buildings and houses with people seen wading in knee-deep waters. A video tweeted by a news agency showed water gushing through roads and alleyways as people tried to reach safety.

Among those dead are labourers from Nepal who, according to media, were staying near Lansdowne in Pauri district when they were buried alive by rubble flowing down from a field above.

More deaths were reported Monday after a house collapsed in Champawat district, where an under-construction bridge (over the Chalthi river) has been washed away due to a rise in water levels.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami today to take stock of the situation, and offer the state government all possible assistance.

Apart from the state and national disaster response forces, the Army has also been called to action; Chief Minister Dhami told PTI three Army helicopters would join rescue and relief efforts.

Two will be sent to the Nainital region and the third to Garhwal to aid in rescue of stranded people.

Images and videos of the floods circulated on social media show frightening scenes.

The iconic Nainital Lake has overflowed and visuals from news agency ANI this morning showed water rushing into nearby houses and streets. The famous Mall Road and the Naina Devi temple located on the banks of the lake have been flooded, and a nearby hostel has been damaged by landslides.

A cloudburst over the village of Ramgarh in Nainital this morning injured some people.

Another video from ANI shows people desperately trying to warn a motorcyclist from crossing a bridge, which is beginning to break up, over the Gaula river in Haldwani district. Two-three men can be seen and heard shouting to alert the two-wheeler driver who, thankfully, sees the danger and retreats.

What is scarier is the collapse of the bridge itself, which is filmed in the same video. In 50 seconds the crack in the bridge widens and slowly breaks up the structure, driven by the force of the flooded river.

The state’s disaster response teams are also in action and this morning rescued 22 pilgrims stuck while returning from the Kedarnath temple.

As the state battles to regain a measure of control, the operation of vehicles to Himalayan temples has been temporarily suspended. In addition, passenger vehicles cannot cross the bridge over the Chandrabhaga river or ford the Tapovan, Lakshman Jhoola and Muni-ki-Reti Bhadrakali barriers.

The Badrinath National Highway in Chamoli district has been completely blocked due to debris at seven places following incessant rains in the last 48 hours, the district administration said today.

As a precautionary measure, the Badrinath Char Dham Yatra has been halted, and passengers en route to Badrinath Temple were stopped at safe places. 

The Chief Minister has appealed to pilgrims to defer their journey till the weather normalises.

All schools remain closed and there is a ban on trekking, mountaineering, and camping activities in high-altitude areas, including the Nanda Devi biosphere reserve and various forest divisions..

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