Uttarakhand survivor recalls nature's fury

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Dehradun, June 21: For Ravindra Bhatt, a Kedarnath temple employee, coming out of the calamity that struck Uttarakhand was solely due to Lord Shiva's "blessings".

"I am a member of the temple committee. What I saw was we brushed with death that fateful night of June 16, the flood that took so may things from us. But, we were hopeful that this black night will be over. And, only we know how we bid the time that night," Bhatt said in Kedar Valley.

According to Bhatt, it was actually "Gandhital that burst" throwing people helter-skelter, as it rained for 24 hours and more.

"To save myself, I climbed on the top of a three-storeyed building and jumped into the river, remained inside it for another 15 minutes. I think it was 'prabhu' Kedarnath's grace that I survived. But my fellow sevaks from the temple are still stuck there somewhere and thousands have died I believe," he said.

An unidentified male survivor in Dehradun, who lost his daughter and mother-in-law but himself survived the ordeal along with his wife and son, thanked god but pointed out government's failures in the need of the hour.

"We heard that a sarovar (lake) had burst. So, I immediately moved to the first floor (of his hotel). After 10-15 minutes, I saw a combination of rock and other material moving towards us. But, fortunately, when it approached our hotel, the speed had gone down.

"But, it hit the hotel hard and its beam cracked. We wanted to move to another hotel but I couldn't anticipate the speed. They dragged us like anything. Three of us me, my son and my wife survived but my daughter and mother-in-law got washed away," he said.

He also blamed the government for not "retrieving" the bodies. "We were crying. We were shivering. Worst part is that the government is taking no effort to retrieve the bodies. Dogs are eating their bodies. Yes, I have seen it myself" he added. 


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