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Friday 5 June 2020

Himachal, Uttarakhand: Rescue operations in full swing

Water supply has been affected in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district due to heavy rainfall even as rescus operations resumed in Uttarakhand

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Shimla/Dehradun: Water supply has been adversely affected in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district due to heavy rainfall, an official said on Monday.

The lift water supply scheme for 75% area of the Jai Singhpur sub-division got damaged near Kangain bridge at Mand Khad. Welding of the damaged pipes was getting delayed due to incessant rains and it might take two-three days to restore the supply, the official said.

Meanwhile, the Averi-Bajirbody road and the Bajaura-Kataula road near Ropa in Kullu district are blocked due to landslide, the officials said.

Heavy rains have claimed at least 22 lives in the state over the past two days and the meteorological department has predicted that the downpour is likely to continue for another 24 hours.

Uttarakhand-Himachal border areas devastated

Earlier, the scale of devastation caused by heavy rains in Uttarkashi unfolded on Monday with the recovery of more bodies from different villages in the district, taking the total number of people killed so far to 10 while six others were missing.

Search and rescue operations, which were hampered by bad weather on Sunday, resumed on Monday amid relatively clear weather in the affected area with three helicopters including one from the IAF pressed into service to take relief material including food packets and essential medicines to people.

“Ten bodies have been recovered from rain-hit areas of the district so far while six are still missing,” Disaster Management Secretary Amit Negi and IG SDRF Sanjay Gunjyal said at a joint press conference on their return from Arakot where a base camp equipped with communication facilities to monitor rescue operations has been set up.

Four bodies each were recovered from Makudi and Arakot while one each was recovered from Tikochil and Sanel, Gunjyal said. However, six people are still missing from the affected villages of the district. Contact has been established with people in around half a dozen affected villages while efforts are on to reach six more which are likely to have been affected by rain-related incidents like cloudbursts, landslides and inundation by swollen rivers, Gunjyal said. With the improvement in the weather conditions on Monday, rescue operations are going on in full swing in affected areas with state police, ITBP, PAC and SDRF personnel engaged in the exercise, he said.

Himachal, Uttarakhand_Rescue operations 2The exercise was partially hit by bad weather on Sunday, Disaster Management Secretary Amit Negi said. Four injured persons were also airlifted from the affected areas to a hospital in Dehradun, he said, adding more people may still be trapped in the affected areas.

Three helipads are operational in rain-hit areas one each in Mori, Arakot and Tyuni to take relief material to the affected people. Relief material is also being taken to the affected people in villages inaccessible by air on foot by SDRF teams, Gunjyal said.

Several houses and hectares of agricultural land were washed away as torrential rains hit more than a dozen villages in Mori block of Uttarkashi which borders on Himachal Pradesh in the early hours on Sunday. People trapped in affected areas are being shifted to safe locations and relief material being made available to them, said Gunjyal.

Negi said a base camp with a good communication network in Arakot will facilitate relief and rescue operations in the area.

With the MeT department predicting heavy rains in various parts of the state on Monday all schools and Anganwadi kendras in nine out of 13 districts remained closed on the orders of their respective district administrations.

The MeT department has also predicted heavy rain in Kumaon region.

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