Uttarakhand grapples with heavy rains, two fatalities in landslide-prone area; Char Dham yatra suspended

The IMD has issued a fresh alert for the next 36 hours, predicting heavy rainfall and landslides in certain areas.
The Badrinath Highway has been blocked at several locations due to landslides and boulder falls, leaving hundreds of pilgrims stranded.
The Badrinath Highway has been blocked at several locations due to landslides and boulder falls, leaving hundreds of pilgrims stranded.(Photo| EPS)

DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand has been grappling with incessant and intense rainfall over the past four days, particularly in the hilly regions, throwing normal life into chaos. In response to the Meteorological Department's warning, the state government has temporarily suspended the Char Dham Yatra for two days.

The torrential rains have caused widespread destruction, with three bridges collapsing in the state. The Meteorological Department has issued a fresh alert for the next 36 hours, predicting heavy rainfall and landslides in certain areas. Residents in these regions have been advised to stay indoors and avoid travel.

According to the Disaster Management Office, a car was heading from Karnaprayag towards Adibadri when it lost control near Chandpur Gadhi due to poor road conditions and fell into a gorge, resulting in the tragic deaths of two women. Three others sustained injuries in the incident.

Devendra Singh, a police official at Simli police Chowki, confirmed that Binsari Devi, 85, succumbed to her injuries at the accident scene. Four others - Vikram Kunwar, 52, Rohit, 18, Mohan Prasad, 57, and Usha Devi, 52 - all residents of Kansuwa, were injured in the tragic incident. Later, Usha Devi succumbed to her injuries during treatment.

In the meantime, three bridges in the state have collapsed due to the massive water flow, and the Meteorological Department has issued a fresh alert for the next 36 hours, predicting heavy rainfall and landslides in certain areas. Residents in these regions have been advised to stay indoors and avoid travel.

According to information received from the Disaster Management Office, a total of 142 roads were blocked across the state on Saturday, leaving commuters stranded for hours. Additionally, 56 roads had been blocked since Friday.

The Public Works Department (PWD) has managed to reopen 89 roads, but 109 roads remain blocked, including one national highway, seven state highways, 11 major district roads, two other district roads, and 88 rural roads.

Dr. Bikram Singh, Director of the Meteorological Center Dehradun told this daily, "A high alert for heavy rainfall in Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, Champawat, Pithoragarh, and Almora districts has been issued". In response, police, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and forest department teams have been deployed in sensitive areas to mitigate any potential disasters.

"Residents have been advised to stay indoors and avoid travel through loudspeakers in various police stations since Saturday night", said a spokesperson of the state disaster management authority.

Dehradun State Highway bridge was partially washed away due to heavy rainfall on Sunday morning. Meanwhile, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Kaladhungi, Reka Kohli, along with teams from the Public Works Department and Revenue Department, inspected the affected areas and appealed to the public to exercise caution.

The Badrinath Highway has been blocked at several locations due to landslides and boulder falls, leaving hundreds of pilgrims stranded. Heavy boulders have fallen on the highway at Totaghati, Safed Pahad, and Vishnu Prayag, damaging parts of the road and blocking the way. The pilgrims are waiting for the highway to reopen.

The Badrinath Highway has been blocked at several locations due to landslides and boulder falls, leaving hundreds of pilgrims stranded.
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