Press Esc to close
Friday 03 July 2015
News updated at 11:32 AM IST
Weather
Max: 33°C
Min : 21°C
In Bengaluru
Rain lightly

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
Indian High Commissioner Ranjan Mathai hosts two winners of the Queen's Young Leaders award...

Indian High Commissioner Ranjan Mathai hosts two winners of the Queen's Young Leaders award...

Engine of Delhi - Rewari passenger train catches fire near Garhi Harsaru village in Gurgaon...

Engine of Delhi - Rewari passenger train catches fire near Garhi Harsaru village in Gurgaon...

Actor-couple Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu at an event in Bengaluru...

Actor-couple Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu at an event in Bengaluru...

Bollywood actress Yami Gautam during a promotional event in Mumbai...

Bollywood actress Yami Gautam during a promotional event in Mumbai...

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during a visit to the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar...

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during a visit to the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar...

Sadhus eat meals from a community kitchen as they wait to register for  Amarnath cave shrine...

Sadhus eat meals from a community kitchen as they wait to register for Amarnath cave shrine...

Security personnel keep vigil from the moutains near the holy Amarnath shrine, Baltal...

Security personnel keep vigil from the moutains near the holy Amarnath shrine, Baltal...

A security jawan patrols as pilgrims move towards holy cave shrine of Amarnath...

A security jawan patrols as pilgrims move towards holy cave shrine of Amarnath...

Bollywood actors Rishi Kapoor and Asin Thottumkal at the trailer launch of the film All is Well...

Bollywood actors Rishi Kapoor and Asin Thottumkal at the trailer launch of the film All is Well...

Priyanka Chopra interacts with media persons on Preventing Anaemia...

Priyanka Chopra interacts with media persons on Preventing Anaemia...

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