Rains to return to Uttarakhand, rescuers race against time

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New Delhi, June 21: Rescue workers have a crucial 48-hour window to evacuate those stranded in the mountains of Uttarakhand as rains are expected to return there by Sunday evening.

The massive relief operations launched in the aftermath of flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall in the state have succeeded in evacuating 50,000 persons to safer places from the worst-hit districts of Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi.  Over 550 people have been reportedly killed in the floods and the toll is expected to increase further.

rescue-ops

Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth reviewed the humongous search, rescue and relief operations at a meeting of top officials from the Army, Air Force, ITBP, NDRF, BRO among others.

The India Meteorological Department Director General, who also attended the meeting, said light to moderate rains could commence over western Himalayas from Sunday evening and could increase to rather heavy rains in some areas from June 26.

"We have a 48-hour window and we would do the best we can to evacuate all those stranded," Air Marshal S B Deo told reporters here.

PTI

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