14 dead, almost 30 injured; MET says next 48 hours are crucial for the region
Dehradun: Incessant rain and bad weather have hampered rescue and relief work in Uttarakhand which was badly hit by a cloudburst and flooding, the Army said on Saturday. “Rain and bad weather continues to hamper rescue and relief work. Dog squads and additional medical teams are on standby, ready to be inducted as soon as the weather permits,” the Army said. At least 14 bodies have been recovered so far from the debris in villages which were hit by rain due to the cloudburst and resultant landslide. As many as 39 people were feared dead on Friday in the incident that occurred in six villages of Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts. The road leading to the affected site remained blocked due to landslides at several places, making the task of evacuation difficult, an Army spokesperson said.
This handout photograph released by the Army on Saturday shows Indian soldiers searching for survivors of a landslide following torrential rain in the Pithoragarh area of rural Uttarakhand state. At least dozens more are missing. Pic/AFP
“The Army, in coordination with the civil administration, has established a relief centre at Shinghali village in proximity to the affected sites,” it added. On Friday, the Army continued to operate till late at night along with the State Disaster Response Force to look for survivors. Nine bodies were recovered during the search. “Search operation has resumed and one more body was recovered from the debris,” said the Army spokesperson.
More than 60 houses were flattened due to incessant rain in the region on Friday. The MeT department here has warned of heavy rain in isolated places in the state especially Nainital, Udhamsingh Nagar and Champawat districts and the next 48 hours are going to be crucial for Uttarakhand.