Dehradun: The scale of devastation caused by heavy rains in Uttarkashi unfolded on Monday with the recovery of more bodies from different villages in the district, taking the total number of people killed so far to 10 while six others were missing.
Search and rescue operations, which were hampered by bad weather on Sunday, resumed on Monday amid relatively clear weather in the affected area with three helicopters including one from the Indian Air Force pressed into service to take relief material including food packets and essential medicines to people.
"Ten bodies have been recovered from rain-hit areas of the district so far while six are still missing," Disaster Management Secretary Amit Negi and IG SDRF Sanjay Gunjyal said at a joint press conference on their return from Arakot where a base camp equipped with communication facilities to monitor rescue operations has been set up.
Four bodies each were recovered from Makudi and Arakot while one each was recovered from Tikochil and Sanel, Gunjyal said. However, six people are still missing from the affected villages of the district.
Contact has been established with people in around half a dozen affected villages while efforts are on to reach six more which are likely to have been affected by rain-related incidents like cloudbursts, landslides and inundation by swollen rivers, Gunjyal said.
With the improvement in weather on Monday rescue operations are going on in full swing in affected areas with state police, ITBP, PAC and SDRF personnel engaged in the exercise, he said.
Several houses and hectares of agricultural land were washed away as torrential rains hit more than a dozen villages in Mori block of Uttarkashi which borders Himachal Pradesh in the early hours on Sunday.
With the MeT department predicting heavy rains in various parts of the state on Monday all schools and Anganwadi kendras in nine out of 13 districts remained closed on the orders of their respective district administrations.
The MeT department has also predicted heavy rain in Kumaon region.
Multiple Landslides in HP
In Himachal Pradesh, while heavy rains have already claimed 22 lives over the past two days, the meteorological department on Monday predicted that the downpour is likely to continue in parts of the hill state for another 24 hours.
Light-to-moderate rainfall will occur at many places with heavy rains expected at isolated places in the state, Shimla Met centre Director Manmohan Singh said.
Over 500 people are stranded in several parts of the state as a number of roads have been blocked by landslides and flash floods, officials said.
Efforts are on to clear the roads and restore traffic to move them to safer places.
The National Disaster Response Force is diverting the water accumulated in Kangra district's Nurpur sub-division by digging an alternative route, an official said.
Multiple landslides blocked the flow of water in streams and formed a big artificial lake in Khadetar village in the sub-division.
Residents of Trindi, Danni, Mairka, Lador, Thana, Hindorghaat, Letri and Jassur villages have been asked to vacate their houses and move to safer places, the official added.
The incessant rainfall for the past two days has damaged the water pipes and hit supplies in Kangra district, another official said on Monday.
In Kullu district, the Averi-Bajirbody road and the Bajaura-Kataula road near Ropa area were blocked by landslides. Several roads remained blocked in Chamba district too.
The Chamba-Pathankot road has been blocked at Parihar, the Chamba-Chowari road via Jot has been blocked at Bhatalwan Ghar and Mathunu.
The Lahru-Sihunta road is blocked at Lahri Bhatti near Lahru; the Lahru-Tunnuhatti road is blocked at Barian Gala.
The Kihar-Chamba road is blocked at Gharatnala and Rohala Nullah near Sundla; the Tissa-Chamba road is blocked at Pangola Nullah; and the Chamba-Pangi road is blocked at Saach Pass.