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12 killed in rain-related incidents in Uttarakhand

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: August 19, 2019  | 20:12 IST

Dehradun, Aug 19 (PTI) The death toll in rain-related incidents in Mori block of Uttrakhand's Uttarkashi district has risen to 12 with five people still missing. Two more bodies were recovered on Monday evening from Makudi as search operations were intensified with the weather becoming clearer, Uttarkashi Disaster Management Officer Devendra Patwal said. All dead, except one, had been identified, he said. So far six bodies have been pulled out from under rubble in Makudi, four from Arakot and one each from Tikochi and Sanel, Patwal said, adding that five people were still missing. Sixty head of cattle have also been killed in incidents of cloudburst. Three helicopters, including one from the IAF, were pressed into service to take relief material, including food packets and medicines, to people. A base camp equipped with all communication facilities has been set up at Arakot to monitor the rescue operations, Disaster Management Secretary Amit Negi and SDRF IG Sanjay Gunjyal said at a joint press conference. Gunjyal said contact had been established with people in around half a dozen affected villages while efforts were on to reach six other villages. He said supplies were being despatched to the affected people by air and road. The state police, ITBP, PAC and SDRF personnel had been engaged, he said. Four injured persons were also airlifted from for treatment at a hospital in Dehradun, he said, adding more people may still be trapped in the affected areas. Helipads at Mori, Arakot and Tyuni are operational to take the relief material to the affected people. Gunjyal said relief material was also being taken to those inaccessible by air by SDRF teams. Houses and crop on several hectares were washed away as the torrential rain lashed Mori block of Uttarkashi, which borders Himachal Pradesh, in the wee hours on Sunday. State ministers Subodh Uniyal and Dhan Singh Rawat also visited the Arakot base camp to assess the situation and asked officials to extend all help to the victims. With the MeT Department predicting heavy rainfall in parts of the state on Monday, all schools and anganwadi centres in nine of 13 districts remained closed. Heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand over the recent days have flooded rivers in the state with the Ganga crossing the danger mark in Haridwar and flowing close to it in Rishikesh. Waters of the flooded river entered the fields in dozens of villages in the district, damaging crops of paddy and sugarcane over 30,000 bighas in Kalsiya, Sherpurbela, Dumanpuri, Himmatwala in Laksar area, SDM Puran Singh Rana said. The authorities have alerted people in 30 villages and patrolling in the flood-hit areas has been intensified. The administration is also maintaining a vigil in other densely populated areas, Rana said. In Rishikesh, the Ganga flowed just below the danger mark. On Monday afternoon, it had risen there to 340.22 metres, 28 centimetres below the danger level at 340.50 metres. A sudden increase in the water level inundated Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh. Water from flooded rainwater streams also gushed into houses in the lower areas of Chandreshwar Nagar in the town with the administration moving residents to safer locations. The current spell of rains began on Saturday. On Monday, the rain had subsided. PTI ALM RDK RDK

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