Flash floods & landslides cause massive destruction in the state. 150 officially dead, 70000 stranded on mountains & 13000 missing. 500 roads & 150 bridges destroyed. DOOM ON !!
Dehradun: The worst fears are coming true as the scale and magnitude of the devastation triggered by flash floods in Uttarakhand continued to unravel on Thursday. In its report to the Union Home Ministry, the Uttarakhand State Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre has said that casualties in the affected areas may run into thousands with about 90 ‘dharamashalas’ (rest houses for pilgrims) swept away in the flash floods. However, the toll has been kept officially at 150.
“It is a calamity that has numbed me by its sheer magnitude,” Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna had said.
The turbulent Mandakini river swallowed huge swathes of land near the Kedarnath shrine. Officials said most of the government and private hotels and lodges and 100 shops around the temple have been flattened.
With the weather clearing up, the focus was on rescue operations. Over 15,000 people stranded in Kedarnath and Govindghat on way to Hemkund Sahib have been evacuated so far to Joshimath relief camps through air and road routes, IG police R S Meena said.
Two helicopters have flown from Dehradun to evacuate stranded people. The Army has also deployed its mountain rescue teams to evacuate the pilgrims. Scores of villages remain under water and cannot be tracked. Hence there is uncertainty about the casualties caused, he said, adding the “devastation is massive”.
While the Army choppers have rescued hundreds from near the Kedarnath temple, it was only today that paratroopers have reached Guarikund – the base camp from where pilgrims begin the 14 kilometre trek to Kedarnath. Army has also deployed mountain rescue teams to rescue stranded.
says 70 000 missing! THOUSANDS feared dead!
World will not care, it’s in India..
Survivors recall their horror:
For Ravindra Bhatt, a Kedarnath temple employee, coming out of the calamity that struck Uttarakhand was solely due to Lord Shiva’s “blessings”.
“I am a member of the temple committee. What I saw… we brushed with death that fateful night of June 16, the flood that took so may things from us. But, we were hopeful that this black night will be over… And, only we know how we bid the time that night,” Bhatt said in Kedar Valley.
According to Bhatt, it was actually “Gandhital that burst” throwing people helter-skelter, as it rained for 24 hours and more.
“We heard that a sarovar (lake) had burst. So, I immediately moved to the first floor (of his hotel). After 10-15 minutes, I saw a combination of rock and other material moving towards us. But, fortunately, when it approached our hotel, the speed had gone down.
“But, it hit the hotel hard and its beam cracked. We wanted to move to another hotel but I couldn’t anticipate the speed… They dragged us like anything. Three of us — me, my son and my wife — survived but my daughter and mother-in-law got washed away,” he said.
“We were crying. We were shivering. Worst part is that the government is taking no effort to retrieve the bodies. Dogs are eating their bodies. Yes, I have seen it myself..” he added.