About 200 newlywed couples are missing in the monstrous flashfloods that roared through Uttarakhand on June 16, claiming at least 830 lives, with 3,000 missing and feared dead and thousands of pilgrims injured. It is one of the many heartrending stories that emerged on Friday, almost 12 days after the deadly cloudburst and landslides ripped through major Hindu pilgrimage Kedarnath–Badrinath, flattening thousands of houses, roads and bridges in the State.
State officials said the control room in the capital was flooded with calls from relatives seeking information regarding missing newlyweds, who came here for their honeymoon and to visit the holy Char Dham (four pilgrimages). Some of them last spoke to their family members from Rambara and Kedarnath according to details made available to the control room.
“We are heartbroken for family members anxiously waiting for updates about the missing persons. Many relatives and parents are camping at Dehradun seeking help to find them. We are ensuring that they are treated well and all possible State assistance is extended,” officials said.
State disaster management officials are also in touch with priests of Yamunotri and Kedarnath. They have sought details of the estimated number of pilgrims who visited the shrine on the ill-fated night. They said one of the priests is deputed to unofficially count the number of pilgrims visiting the temples as there is no formal registration process in Uttarakhand for visiting holy places.