Two-hundred-and-fifty houses collapse in Garhwal – Tourists stranded in HP
Jotirmay Thapliyal, Tribune News Service
Dehradun, August 4. Seven persons were confirmed killed and 19 others feared dead, while nearly 250 houses collapsed in a cloudburst that hit the border district of Uttarkashi in the Garhwal hills of Uttarakhand late last night. The Garhwal region bore the brunt of the natural calamity.
The state government has sounded a high alert after the MET department warned of heavy rains and sought the help of the army to mitigate the sufferings of the people.
Seven bodies have been recovered so far by the district administration. Two children died in a house collapse in Karanprayag in Chamoli district.
Landslides caused by incessant rains in hills have badly disrupted the Chardham Yatra in the state.
Uttarakhand District Magistrate Rajesh Kumar confirmed seven deaths in the cloudburst while 19 others are reported missing and feared dead. Most of the deceased were labourers working with Asi Ganga Phase II hydro power project. A lot of damage to infrastructure has also been reported.
Joshiyara and Gangori bridges were swept away in the swirling waters of the Bhagirathi. Among the houses destroyed include 25 in Gangori village, as many in Ganga Vihar colony, five in Joshiyara and as many in Dunda village. A Senior Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre (DMMC) official said the centre’s team in Uttarkashi was actively engaged in relief and rescue works. He said information about the casualties and the destruction caused due to heavy rains is being gathered from the district administration.
The District Magistrate said that the rescue and relief works were on on a war footing. Food packets are being sent to the affected people. The Indo Tibetan Border Police Force personnel and administration officials have been working round the clock, providing relief to the people. He said 250 affected families have been shifted to government offices, school buildings and ashrams.
Flow of traffic on the Rishikesh-Yamunotri and the Rishikesh-Gangotri highways has been disrupted completed. Similarly, Rishikesh-Badrinath highway has been blocked, leaving a large number of pilgrims stranded in Patalganga, Birahi and Lambaga areas.
Last year, the government had suspended the Chardham Yatra to all the four shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri following heavy landslides and torrential rains for nearly one week.