Uttarakhand: 16 dead in two days as heavy rainfall destroys homes; Nainital cut off from state

Rain has wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand for the third consecutive day where 16 people have been killed so far. The Indian Meteorological Depa...

Rain has wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand for the third consecutive day where 16 people have been killed so far.

The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted moderate to severe thunderstorms accompanied with lightning and gusty winds for the state today.

"Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have been briefed on the situation. Houses, bridges etc have been damaged and 16 people have died so far. Three (Army) helicopters to be deployed for rescue operations," Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami was quoted by news agency ANI.

The rainfall has led to scenes of chaos and disaster across the hilly state with visuals emerging of roads and buildings submerged, bridges washing away and rivers overflowing.

Nainital district has been cut off from after three access roads were blocked by 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 Badrinath National Highway in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand has been completely blocked due to debris at seven places following incessant rains over the past 48 hours, the district administration said on Tuesday.

Some parts of the state have also been plunged into darkness owing to a power cut that began on Monday.

As a precautionary measure, the Badrinath Char Dham Yatra has been halted and passengers en route to Badrinath Temple were stopped at safe places. On Monday, three labourers from Nepal died and two were injured when rubble flowing down from a field above due to the rains buried them alive.

In another incident, two people were killed when their house collapsed, following a landslide in Selkhola in Champawat district, the State Emergency Operation Centre said.

The water level in the Nandakini river has also risen significantly, raising an alarm.

Earlier in the day, Mustafa Quraishi — an independent photographer — shared images on his Instagram feed of stranded guests at the Lemon Tree Hotel near the Jim Corbett National National Park. The images show guests being depressed as the building is submerged and cars are floating away.

According to ANI there were 100 people stuck at the Lemon Tree (located between Ramnagar and Ranikhet) and all have been rescued.

Other visuals, posted by National Disaster Response Force chief Satya Pradhan, show villages and towns almost washed away by the strength of the floods.

It was also reported that the State Disaster Response Force along with the Uttarakhand police rescued 22 devotees stuck at Jungle Chatti amid the rainfall, while returning from Kedarnath Temple.

SDRF Sonprayag had received the information late on Monday that some tourists had been stranded and they immediately left for Jungle Chatti and rescued the tourists amid the torrential rain.

Meanwhile, an orange alert has been issued for the Kumaon region in Uttarakhand while the weather is expected to remain clear in Garhwal. There will be no rainfall in the Garhwal region for the next four days, said the weather department.

Apart from the state and national disaster response forces, the Indian 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.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had visited the state’s disaster control room in Dehradun to take stock of the situation on Monday.

The rain in Uttarakhand has triggered memories of the deadly 2013 floods and landslides, which had become the country's worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami.

The unusual high rain had caused floods that had killed over 5,000 people.

With inputs from agencies

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India World News: Uttarakhand: 16 dead in two days as heavy rainfall destroys homes; Nainital cut off from state
Uttarakhand: 16 dead in two days as heavy rainfall destroys homes; Nainital cut off from state
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