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Cloudburst toll rises to 14 in Uttarakhand, many rivers in spate

rain

Dehradun: With the recovery of two more bodies, the death toll in the heavy rains in Uttarakhand rose to 14 today while about, ten rivers and rivulets were in spate across the state and traffic disrupted on several routes due to landslides.

15 people are still missing after the cloudbursts yesterday morning in Pithoragarh and Chamoli districts and it is feared that the toll may rise.

The MeT department here has warned of heavy rains 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, which was devastated by flash floods that left 6,000 people dead three years ago.

“While nine bodies were recovered from Pithoragarh district by late last night, two more were pulled out from the debris this morning,” Additional Secretary C Ravishankar told PTI.

Three bodies were recovered earlier in Chamoli. Six persons are?still missing and the chances of their survival are bleak, he said.

The six were buried in the debris which flowed down the hills destroying many houses yesterday.

“The total number of people still missing from both the districts is 15,” Ravishankar said, adding more bodies may be extricated from the rubble.

“Tonnes of debris?had flowed downhill after the cloubdbursts over a large area and it is difficult to ascertain where exactly the missing people are trapped,” he said.

Early monsoon rains wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand in the wee hours yesterday as a series of cloudbursts flattened homes in Pithoragarh and Chamoli districts killing 12 and leaving 17 others trapped under debris with little chances of their survival.

NDRF, SDRF, SSB, ITBP, DMMC and police, personnel are carrying out rescue operations under the supervision of District Magistrates and SPs in the affected districts, Ravishankar said

About?ten rivers and rivulets including Mandakini and Nandakini are in spate across the state and many roads are blocked due to landslips.

At least half a dozen villages namely Naulda, Bastadi, Rikuniya, Sighali, Charma and Pipli in Pithoragarh district and Siro, Didihat, Jakhli, Gortansan and Kotiyal areas in Chamoli were affected by the cloudbursts.

—PTI

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