India / 34 die in U’khand rains, ₹4 lakh aid for families of deceased

Zoom News : Oct 20, 2021, 07:40 AM
Nainital: The lake town of Nainital was cut off from the rest of Uttarakhand after a series of landslides blocked all three highways to the popular tourist spot, leaving many visitors stranded on the roads and in hotels.

All the roads leading to Kaladhungi, Haldwani, Bhawali have been closed by debris due to landslides.

Around 34 people have died due to incessant rains in Uttarakhand, out of which maximum casualties are from Nainital district, informed Uttarakhand DGP, Ashok Kumar on Tuesday.

“So far 34 deaths, 5 missing in Uttarakhand rains. ₹1,09,000, ₹4 lakh compensation to the families of the deceased, possible help to be extended to those who lost their livestock," Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami announced today.

While speaking to ANI, DGP Kumar, said, "Around 200 people were stuck at Lemon Tree Resort located at Ramnagar-Ranikhet route. All of them are safe and the process to rescue them is on. Water from Kosi River entered the resort after the river overflowed, blocking the route to the resort."

Electricity, telecom and internet connectivity in the Nainital district was also badly hit.

"It is getting very scary. We are scared of staying shut inside our hotels. We are also looking for a new hotel since we are being asked to pay the rent for the next day as well," said a tourist.

The Mall Road in Nainital and Naina Devi temple located along the banks of Naini lake have been flooded, while a hostel building has been damaged due to landslides.

The Nainital district administration has been trying to help tourists stranded in the town. Police officials have been deployed to warn incoming and outgoing traffic, asking them to stay put until the wet spell is over, according to reports.

Nainital received 90 mm of rain, Haldwani 128 mm, Koshyakutoli 86.6 mm, Almora 216. 6mm Dwarahot 184 mm and Jageshwar 176 mm rainfall, the SEOC added.

11 more deaths reported in Uttarakhand

Eleven more deaths were reported in Uttarakhand on Tuesday as incessant rain continued to lash various parts of the state, especially Kumaon region, razing houses to the ground and leaving many trapped in the debris.

The death toll in rain-related incidents in the state in the last two days has risen to 16.

Speaking to reporters in Dehradun, CM Dhami said, "This takes the toll in rain-related incidents across Uttarakhand to 16, with five deaths reported on Monday."

Three Army helicopters will soon arrive in the state to assist in relief and rescue operations, out of which, two are to be sent to Nainital district where heavy rains have caused massive damages, with houses collapsing in cloudbursts, landslides killing people and leaving many trapped in the rubble. One of these helicopters will assist in rescue operations in Garhwal region, Dhami said.

Giving details of eight out of 11 fatalities reported on Tuesday, the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) here said seven people were killed in the wee hours in two separate house collapse incidents following heavy rains at Totapani and Kvarav villages of Mukteshwar and Khairna areas of Nainital district, respectively.

Meanwhile, one person was swept away by heavy rain in Bajpur area of Udham Singh Nagar district, it said.

Four people were trapped in the debris of a collapsed house at Rapad village in Bhetrojkhan area of Almora district out of which a woman was rescued safely, the SEOC said.

An unspecified number of people, all members of the same family, were also trapped in the rubble of a collapsed building in Bhikiyasain of the district, it said.

Four labourers, including three women, were trapped in the rubble of a landslide near Joshimath in Chamoli district. One woman labourer was injured in the incident while the rest of them are safe, the SEOC said.

The chief minister undertook an aerial survey of the affected areas along with state Disaster Management Minister Dhan Singh Rawat and state DGP Ashok Kumar to assess the damage caused by the rains.

He instructed all district magistrates (DMs) to assess the damages caused to farmers and send him a report at the earliest.

However, he asked people not to panic, saying all necessary steps are being taken to evacuate them to safety.

He also reiterated his appeal to Chardham yatris to stay where they are and not to resume their journeys before the weather improved. He also asked the DMs of Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts to take special care of pilgrims stranded on chardham yatra route.

The damage caused by the rains is being assessed, Dhami noted, admitting that farmers had been hit hard by the incessant showers.

He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to him on the phone to take stock of the situation and assured him of all necessary help.

Meanwhile, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel spoke to his Uttarakhand counterpart today regarding Gujarati pilgrims stuck in the northern state following incessant rains there and urged him to extend all possible help to the visitors. 

According to a rough estimate, around 100 pilgrims from different parts of Gujarat, who went to Uttarakhand for the Chardham Yatra, were stranded following heavy rains and landslides there, Gujarat Revenue Minister Rajendra Trivedi said.