Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 19
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami today appealed to pilgrims headed for the state to defer their journey till the situation normalised after floods triggered by incessant rains claimed at least 42 more lives in the Kumaon region.
Kumaon region’s dists worst hit
1. Udham Singh Nagar 2. Uttarkashi
3. Chamoli 4. Dehradun 5. Pithoragarh 6. Haridwar 7. Nainital 8. Almora
NDRF control room in Delhi to monitor the situation round the clock.
2,000 pilgrims stranded in Kedarnath
300 rescued by NDRF
With this, the toll has risen to 47 as five deaths were reported on Monday.
The Army, along with teams of the national and state disaster relief forces, has been pressed into service.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Dhami and assured all help after taking stock of the situation.
In the national capital, Home Minister Amit Shah met the PM at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, to brief him on the flood situation in the BJP-ruled state.
Nainital was cut off from the rest of the country after approach roads (Haldwani, Bhawali and Kaladhungi) were hit by landslides.
Of the 42 fresh deaths, 28 people were killed in Nainital district, six each in Almora and Champawat and one each in Pithoragarh and Udham Singh Nagar districts, official said.
At least one person was seen being swept away in Udham Singh Nagar.
The CM conducted an aerial survey and said the PM had been briefed about the situation. The hill state was wrecked by nonstop rains for the third consecutive day, with several persons feared dead or trapped under the mounting debris at many places. “Three Army helicopters have been deployed for the rescue operations,” CM Dhami said.
The state authorities said two rescue helicopters would be sent to Nainital and one to the Garhwal region.
The day saw social media flooded with images of widespread havoc caused by rains and of Nainital Lake overflowing into the city limits after the water levels surged from constant rains.
Videos of a daring car rescue and another showing locals warning a biker against crossing a fragile bridge also went viral. The bridge collapsed moments later.
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