Dehradun, July 1: Monsoon season wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand on Friday, July 1 as at least 30 people lost their lives after a cloudburst in Chamoli and Pithoragrh districts in the wee hours today, burying villages in sludge with many residents trapped under the debris.
The cloudburst brought over 100 mm rains in two hours in a region of 50 sq km, affecting several villages.
According to disaster management office sources, the cloudburst occurred in the villages of Singhali, Patthakot, Ogla and Thal villages. "The villages are buried under heavy debris and people are trapped. The rescuers are trying their best to locate and save them," RS Rana, the district disaster management officer who reached the spot soon after the disaster occurred, said.
The rise in water level at Nandaprayag was also reported. Due to heavy rains and landslide near Devprayag, Rishikesh to Badrinath National Highway (NH-58) was blocked.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "NDRF teams rushed to the areas affected by could burst in Uttarakhand. Additional teams of NDRF are also put on alert."
Following the incident, Uttarkhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.
Rawat said he was personally monitoring the situation and added that disaster management teams and security personnel have already been asked to reach the sites to carry out rescue works and ensure safety of locals.
"We are sad to know about the deaths. I am personally monitoring the situation from here. Chief Secretary too is keeping a tab. We will give kin of victims immediate compensation of Rs two lakh as per norms," he said.
As heavy rains continued to pound the hilly areas of Uttarakhand, Alaknanda river crossed danger mark after a cloud burst in Srinagar, Uttarakhand.
Another cloud burst was reported from Bastadi in Pithoragarh, where many were left injured.
Officials said a cloud burst in Pithoragarh inundated the entire region, causing problems to the people.
Large tracts of agriculture fields were destroyed in Suva village of the Dharchula area and three bridges linking the village have been washed away.
Over 54 mm rain was recorded here in the last 24-hours. The Thal-Munsyari road has been cut-off and dozens of vehicles remained stranded on both sides.
The Yamunotri highway, near Kharadi, has also been damaged leading to traffic being halted. Entry of heavy vehicles was halted on the Kedarnath highway after a landslide at Gangolgaon.
The entry of heavy vehicles was halted on the Kedarnath highway following a landslide at Gangolgaon.
All major rivers in the hilly tracts were in spate.
An alert about heavy rains in the next 72 hours has been issued in Nainital, Udhamsingh Nagar, Champawat, Almora, Pauri, Haridwar, Tehri and Dehradun districts.
Earlier in the day, Uttarkhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.
"As many as 30 people have been trapped in the debris following landslides in Bastia village of Kanalichhina block in Pithoragarh district. Bodies of four persons have been recovered by the district administration team with the help of local people," a police official said.
"In Chamoli district, three people have died and four others are missing," he added.
(With agency inputs)