In Pithoragarh district, five including 3 children have lost their lives while many are feared missing in Didihat town where 10 houses caved in due to heavy rain and mudslide late last night. Several people are also reportedly missing in villages of Bastari and Urma.
Five people were washed away in flash floods in Chamoli district early this morning.
“Heavy rains caused landslides last night. Our teams are facing difficulty in rescue work due to blocked roads and low visibility,” OP Singh, Director General of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF
Besides the NDRF which has dispatched four teams, the Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police have also been called in.
Connectivity to the affected area has been severed, a senior cop supervising the rescue operations said. “The information we have got from a local there is that the situation is very grim. Disaster response teams have left from Almora and Dharchula to assist in relief and rescue in the region,” he said.
Chief Minister Harish Rawat said he was “personally monitoring the situation” and also announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh each to families of victims. “The Army has been called in to assist in relief and rescue operations,” Mr Rawat said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said NDRF teams have been rushed to the affected areas. Additional NDRF teams are also put on alert, he added.
The Met department had issued a 72-hour warning from late last night for incessant rainfall in the region including 7 hill-districts of Garhwal and Kumaon Region.
The administration is working on war-footing to clear landslides and road blocks. Emergency ration has been stored in large quantities at district headquarters.
In June 2013, nearly 6,000 people, including pilgrims and tourists, were killed by floods and landslides in the state, destroying hundreds of villages and towns in one of the country’s worst natural disasters.