PITHORAGARH: A family of three was killed and six others injured as a cloudburst hit two adjacent villages in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district on Monday, officials said. They said that eleven people are also reported missing.
Sher Singh, his wife Govindi Devi and daughter Kumari Mamta were killed after their house in Gaila Pattharkot village caved in due to heavy rains triggered by the cloudburst. The incident took place around 2 am, when the family was fast asleep, Pithoragarh District Magistrate (DM) VK Jogdande told reporters.
He said that two of the bodies have been recovered, while the search for the third is underway. "Five others were injured in the village," he said. One person was rescued in Tanga village and he told authorities that 11 others were washed away in a swollen rivulet, Jogdande said.
The two villages fall in the Bangapani sub-division of Pithoragarh. Relief and rescue operations have been launched by police and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel with help from locals, the DM said.
Two other villages, Bata and Sirtaul, were also hit by the cloudburst, resulting in damage to five houses. Cattle were also killed in the two villages, he said. SDRF Inspector General Sanjay Gunjyal said a helicopter has also been pressed into service to help in rescue efforts which are being hampered by bad weather.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat expressed grief at the loss of lives in the incident. "The Pithoragarh district magistrate has been asked to ensure that relief reaches the affected families at the earliest. An additional team of SDRF personnel is also being sent to the affected area so that search for the missing people is carried out on a war footing," he said in a statement issued in Dehradun.