After being battered by heavy rain for three straight days, it seems the “worst is over” for Uttarakhand as per the latest prediction of the India Meteorological Department.
Rain fury in the hilly state claimed at least 47 lives, with many people still trapped under the rubble after landslides.
"The number of casualties in Kumaon region alone has crossed 40," DIG Nilesh Anand Bharne told PTI.
With 42 new fatalities in the Kumaon region, the death toll in the disaster has risen to 47 as five deaths were reported on Monday.
Of the 42 fresh deaths on Tuesday, 28 people were killed in Nainital district, six each in Almora and Champawat and one each in Pithoragarh and Udham Singh Nagar districts, the official said.
Officials also added that connectivity to Nainital was restored on Tuesday evening after it was initially cut off from the state owing to landslides, triggered by the rains.
Uttarakhand: A stretch of road being cleared with the help of machines in Jeolikote of Nainital district, near which an incident of landslide took place. pic.twitter.com/ZDYTQs5xlI
— ANI (@ANI) October 20, 2021
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami undertook an aerial survey of the rain-hit areas and later interacted with the affected people on ground zero to make an assessment of the damages caused. He also reiterated his appeal to Chardham yatris to stay where they are and not to resume their journeys before the weather improved.
He announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in rain-related incidents across the state over the last two days.
The National Disaster Response Force, which has deployed 15 teams in the state, has rescued over 300 people from flood-affected areas. Meanwhile, three Indian Air Force helicopters are also assisting in relief and rescue operations.
NDRF team carried out rescue operations at several waterlogged areas in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand earlier in the day. #uttarakhandrains
(Picture source: NDRF) pic.twitter.com/nKNJ2HZA1p
— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2021
Meanwhile, NDTV reported that Ranikhet and Almora remain cut off from the plains, with the former forced to ration fuel for emergency services.
As per IMD estimates, Uttarakhand received 122 mm rainfall during the 24-hour period between Monday and Tuesday.
The IMD has also stated that the rain is most likely to shift towards Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and other parts of the northeastern region.
With inputs from agencies