Over 30 dead in Uttarakhand cloudbursts, Rajnath Singh condoles loss of lives, assures Centre’s assistance


Heavy rains triggered by cloudbursts led to the deaths of 30 people in Chamoli and Pithoragarh. Cloudburst in Chamoli washed away houses in Gopeshwar on the banks of river Mandakini.

“We have recovered five bodies from Singhali area while three bodies have been recovered from Thal village. The search for others is on by rescue parties consisting of army and paramilitary personnel,” Pithoragarh District Magistrate H C Semwal said.

The cloudburst brought over 100 mm rains in two hours in a region of 50 sq km, affecting several villages.

“25 persons, missing from over seven villages of Singhali area in Didiihat sub division of the district, are being traced with the help of ITBP, SSB and Pithoragarh district police,” said RS Rana, the district disaster management officer who reached the spot soon after the disaster occurred.

According to disaster management office sources, the cloudburst occurred in the villages of Singhali, Patthakot, Ogla and Thal villages.
“The villages are buried under heavy debris and people are trapped. The rescuers are trying their best to locate and save them,” Rana said.
Meanwhile, Expressing profound grief over the loss of lives due heavy rains and cloudbursts in several districts of Uttarakhand, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday assured that several National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been rushed aid the state to tackle the calamity.

The Home Minister took to micro-blogging site Twitter to express his grief.

“I am deeply pained at loss of precious lives in Uttarakhand due to flash floods. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.NDRF teams have been rushed to the areas affected by could burst in Uttarakhand. Additional teams of NDRF are also put on alert,” Singh said in series of tweets.

“Spoke to CM U’khand Shri Harish Rawat regarding the situation post the cloud burst in the state. Centre is providing all possible assistance,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Harish Rawat announced a compensation of Rs two lakh each to families of the victims.

Rawat said he was personally monitoring the situation and added that disaster management teams and security personnel have already been asked to reach the sites to carry out rescue works and ensure safety of locals.

(Inputs from agencies)