Press Esc to close
Wednesday 31 August 2016
News updated at 2:31 AM IST
Weather
Max: 21°C
Min : 25°C
In Bengaluru
Cloudy sky

Rescue efforts gather steam in U'khand, 40 choppers deployed

Dehradun, Jun 21, 2013 (PTI)
Soldiers rescue stranded people after heavy rains in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand June 18, 2013. India's monsoon rains could ease soon after hitting 89 percent over averages in the week to June 19, according to weather office sources, in a third straight week of downpours that have caused major flooding in north India. Picture taken June 18, 2013. REUTERS

Massive rescue operations were today launched in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand with 40 helicopters pressed into service to evacuate over 9000 people from Kedarnath and Badrinath areas as the state government said the toll in the rain fury could be "shockingly high".

The focus of the rescue operation today would be the worst-hit Kedarnath area where 250 people are stranded, officials said.

The operation would then shift to Badrinath where 9000 people are stuck, they said.As the rescue efforts picked up steam, Uttarkahnad Principal Secretary Rakesh Sharma said causalty figures can be "shockingly high".

Terming it as the "worst tragedy of the millennium", Agriculture Minister Harak Singh Rawat said, "It will take us at least five years to recover from the extensive damages caused to the entire infrastructure network in the Kedarnath area which is the worst affected".

Rawat, who had visited the Kedarnath area, said that he spent five hours there and was shocked to see the extent of the damage caused to the buildings and area adjoining the shrine.

"The centre of faith has turned into a burial ground. Bodies are scattered in the area. Only the sanctum sanctorum is intact," he said.

Thousands of people were still said to be stranded in various parts of the state that was hit by cloudburst and floods in the upper reaches that left several hundreds of homes, rest houses and buildings in ruins and thousands of people missing.

The official death toll still stood at 150 but Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said the casualties could run into several hundreds which will be known only when areas become accessible and water recedes.

IAF has deployed 20 Mi-17s and 16 Advanced Light Helicopters in the state where they have evacuated over 1,500 people. Army has also deployed over 8,000 of its troops along with over 3,000 personnel of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

The upper reaches of the state lay mute witness to the death and devastation caused by nature's fury due to Saturday's cloudburst and landslides and a complete estimate of which was still not available.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Activists of All Bodo Student's Union protesting to demand the creation of a separate state...

Activists of All Bodo Student's Union protesting to demand the creation of a separate state...

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee gymnast Dipa Karmakar and Dronacharya award winner coach...

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee gymnast Dipa Karmakar and Dronacharya award winner coach...

A newly inducted Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel quenching his thirst...

A newly inducted Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel quenching his thirst...

A view of decorated Shivalinga at Somnath on Tuesday...

A view of decorated Shivalinga at Somnath on Tuesday...

Workers transport an idol of Hindu god Ganesh on a cart ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival...

Workers transport an idol of Hindu god Ganesh on a cart ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival...

Actress Katrina Kaif during a promotional event for her film 'Baar Baar Dekho' in Jaipur...

Actress Katrina Kaif during a promotional event for her film 'Baar Baar Dekho' in Jaipur...

Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath poses during a promotional event in Kolkata...

Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath poses during a promotional event in Kolkata...

Victor Banerjee with actress Raima Sen and Argentinian film director Pablo Cesar...

Victor Banerjee with actress Raima Sen and Argentinian film director Pablo Cesar...

Actor Milind Soman during a press conference to promote Pinkathon run in Jaipur on Tuesday....

Actor Milind Soman during a press conference to promote Pinkathon run in Jaipur on Tuesday....

Sand artist Manas Sahoo creates a sand sculpture on the eve of local self governance day in Puri...

Sand artist Manas Sahoo creates a sand sculpture on the eve of local self governance day in Puri...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523