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Heavy rain in Uttarakhand kills nine, pilgrimage disrupted

Dehradun: At least nine people have been killed in Uttarakhand after heavy rains lashed most parts of the state affecting normal life especially in the hills and disrupting pilgrimage to Badrinath temple. Different incidents

India TV News Desk [ Updated: July 17, 2016 9:35 IST ]
A woman died as a bus tumbled into a local stream in
A woman died as a bus tumbled into a local stream in Haldwani

Dehradun: At least nine people have been killed in Uttarakhand after heavy rains lashed most parts of the state affecting normal life especially in the hills and disrupting pilgrimage to Badrinath temple. 

Different incidents of landslides and road accidents due to incessant rain injured several others, with some of them critical. 

The pilgrimage to Badrinath has been disrupted after the highway leading to the Himalayan shrine was choked with boulders falling from hillsides in the wake of landslips.

A report from Rishikesh said overnight heavy rains have sent the Ganga into spate with the river flowing 30 centimetres below the warning line. 

Intermittent rains since Friday night have caused landslips in Tehri district also where 16 motor roads including Suvakholi-Nagun-Bhawan road are blocked and the Tehri lake is flowing at 772.95 metres far below the danger level at 830 metres. 

At least six houses have also been damaged in heavy rains in Tehri district. 

Ganga and its tributaries in Uttarkashi district are flowing close to the danger mark. 

However, an official release here said water level in the Ganga in Haridwar is flowing 95 centimetres below the danger level. 

Six police teams and five motor boats along with rafts have been kept on standby in the district to deal with any emergency. 

Heavy rain which began last night and is still continuing in most parts of the state has affected the pilgrimage to Badrinath with the Rishikesh-Badrinath Highway blocked by debris falling from hillsides following landslips at Lambagad between Joshimath and Badrinath and at Naithana near Chamoli. 

Pilgrims bound for the Himalayan shrine have been asked to wait in safe locations built for themen route to the shrine till the highway is cleared of the obstructions, the disaster management office in Chamoli said. 

Pilgrimage to Kedarnath was also affected late in the afternoon with the highway between Gaurikund and Sonprayag open only for light vehicles. 

Another spell of heavy rains has added to the woes of the residents of Ghat area of Chamoli district still struggling to overcome the effects of the flashfloods on July 1 which claimed four lives and blocked over a dozen motor roads cutting off at least 40 villages from the district headquarters.

The MeT department forecast very heavy rains over the next 48 hours in the mountainous areas of the state especially the disaster-prone Pithoragarh, Uttarkashi, Chamoliand Rudraprayag districts where torrential rains may trigger flashfloods, cloudbursts and landslides asking people as well as authorities to be alert. 

"We need to be watchful over the next 48 hours which may see very heavy rainfall within a few hours in Pithoragarh, Uttarkashi, Chamoliand Rudraprayag districts. Very heavy rains within a few hoursmay lead to flashfloods, cloudbursts and landslides. So people must be alert," MeT office Director Vikram Singh told PTI. 

He advised chardham yatris to follow weather alerts and move strictly in accordance with instructions issued by the administration. 

As per the latest updates provided by the MeT department, Haldwani in Nainital district received the maximum of 100 mm of rains followed by Mussoorie 96 mm, Srinagar 88.2 mm, Dehradun 74.8 mm,Ukhimath 66.3 mm, Nainital 56 mm and Haridwar 53 mm. 

Dehradun MeT office Directorsaid an improvement in weather conditions is expected from July 18 onwards when rainfall activity is likely to drop.

(With PTI inputs)

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