M A I N   N E W S

1,000 dead; rescuers focus on Badrinath 
All stranded pilgrims in Kedarnath, Ghangariya & Gangotri rescued | Looming rain poses big threat
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, June 22
The death toll due to flashfloods and landslips in Uttarakhand has crossed 1,000, said Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna today. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who arrived in the Uttarakhand capital to review rescue efforts, said operations are underway on a war-footing to evacuate about over 30,000 pilgrims stranded in various places.

“The rescue operations are being carried out on a war-footing and we hope to rescue around 30,000-32,000 pilgrims stranded in Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag and Chamoli in the coming two days,” Shinde told reporters. "Around 1,000 persons have died in floods," Bahuguna said. A conclusive figure can be arrived at only after the slush and debris under which bodies could be buried are cleared, he said.

Rescuers were racing against time to reach out to those stranded. While tomorrow the weather may stabilise, those engaged in the operations are worried about the rain forecast for Monday and Tuesday that could hamper their work. Chopper operations were hampered on Saturday morning due to overcast conditions.

Bahuguna said all stranded pilgrims in Kedarnath, Ghangariya and Gangotri areas have been rescued and now the focus would be on clearing the Badrinath area. “A total of 1,700 tourists were rescued today,” said Bahuguna.

The Chief Minister said Army paratroopers managed to rescue 600 stranded pilgrims and tourists from Jungle Chatti (Kedarnath) who had been without food for the last few days. He said over 8,000 pilgrims were still stranded in Badrinath and the focus would now be on their rescue.

Chief Secretary Subash Kumar said special arrangements have been made for tourists and pilgrims at the Haridwar bus stand and railway station. “The facilities have been upgraded and over 1,000-1,500 people can now be accommodated at these two places,” he said.

The Chief Secretary said a total of 7,000 persons have so far been airlifted by 
helicopters. A senior state government official said 123 bodies have been recovered from Kedarnath temple complex where a team of experts went today. 

Unending tragedy

30,000 stranded in Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag and Chamoli to be rescued in the next two days

4,000pilgrims rescued from the Jungle Chatti area

8,000 still stuck in the Badrinath area

61 helicopters, including 43 of the IAF and 11 of the Army, have undertaken over 300 sorties

150 sadhus have preferred to stay back in Gaurikund





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