01 July, Dehradun
At least 13 people were killed and many others entrapped in the debris following incidents of cloud burst and heavy rains in Pithoragarh and Chamoli districts in Uttrakhand.
The Army, Para-military forces personnel and SDRF jawans have been deployed in the relief and rescue operation.
In Pithoragarh district eight people were killed and 17 others are reported to be missing following cloud burst in Sighli area under Didihat Tehsil. Many houses have been razed to the ground in the seven villages that were affected by the cloud burst. Eight dead bodies have so far been recovered and intensive efforts are on to find out the other missing persons.
In Chamoli district, five people died and four others are missing in Siron and Sithel villages following heavy rains in the area. The Rishikesh-Badrinath national highway has been disrupted at several places between Nandprayag and Lambagar. The BRO and PWD teams have been pressed into service to reopen the highway. Stay arrangements for the stranded yatris have been made at Pandukeshwar, Joshimath, Pipalkoti and Gauchar. The yatra for the other three Dhams of Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri is going on uninterrupted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives due to cloudburst and heavy rains in Uttarakhand.
In a tweet, Modi expressed hope that normalcy would return to the affected areas at the earliest. He conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for those injured.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister, Harish Rawat has declared ex-gratia of rupees two lakh each to the next of kin of those died. He instructed the authorities to ensure speedy relief and rescue work in the affected areas.
The Met Office has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places in Nainital, Udhamsingh Nagar, Champawat, Almora, Pauri, Haridwar, Dehradun and Tehri districts in the next 48 hours.