Three members of a family, including a mother-daughter duo, were killed while one person was reportedly missing after a cloudburst hit two adjacent villages in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district, officials said on Monday. Those killed in the incident that took place on Sunday night in Mandav village were identified as Madhuri Devi (36), Ritu Devi (32) and her three-year-old daughter Trishvi, Uttarkashi’s Disaster Management Officer Devendra Patwal said, adding that all the bodies have been recovered.
One person is reported to be missing after the cloudburst in neighbouring Kankrari village. A search operation is underway to find him, he said. Police and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) personnel launched rescue operations in the affected areas and succeeded in rescuing most of the people trapped in slush.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident and asked the Uttarkashi District Magistrate to carry out relief and rescue operations in the affected areas on priority. He asked all the District Magistrates to be alert and vigilant in view of the meteorological department’s warning of heavy rains at isolated places in Uttarkashi, Dehradun and Haridwar districts.
Dhami also inspected the State Emergency Operation Centre here to take stock of the arrangements there and instructed officials on duty to keep a constant vigil on the situation across the state and inform higher authorities immediately in case of untoward developments. A cloudburst also occurred at around 4 am on Monday over Med village in Tehri district causing debris to enter 3-4 houses. One person sustained minor injuries, while no casualty has been reported so far from the area, District Disaster Management Officer Brajesh Bhatt said.
Most rivers in Uttarakhand, including Ganga, Yamuna, Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Mandakini, Pindar, Nandakini, Tons, Saryu, Gori, Kali and Ramganga, are in spate following intermittent rains over the last three days, the State Emergency Operation Centre here informed. A constant watch is being kept on them, it said.
Heavy rains also caused landslides bringing debris onto the roads at various places. Consequently, the Gangotri and Yamunotri national highways in Uttarkashi district got blocked at various points. The Gangotri highway was blocked at Dharasu, Tekhla, Hina and Dabrani while the Yamunotri highway was blocked at Kharadi.
A bridge was also washed away on Uttarkashi-Lambgaon motor road cutting off several villages in Baragaddi and Dhauntari areas from the district headquarters. Meanwhile, two labourers who got stranded in a tunnel of the Chibro hydel project in Vikasnagar area of Dehradun district on Sunday evening are still trapped there. Efforts are still underway to rescue them but chances of their survival is thin, Kalsi police station in-charge Rituraj Singh said.
They had fainted inside the tunnel due to lack of oxygen, he said.