Five more bodies recovered from near Kedarnath shrine, toll 13

Five more bodies recovered from near Kedarnath shrine, toll 13

Five more bodies were recovered today from near the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, taking the toll in the torrential rains lashing Uttarakhand to 13 even as the chardham yatra remained suspended for the second day due to landslips.

Authorities in Chamoli district said the toll may climb as about 50 persons from different villages in the area are missing and rescue operations are on.

They said five bodies were recovered from Basukital adjoining Kedarnath.

The Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath motor way and pedestrian routes are blocked at about a dozen places by rocks and boulders that have come down as part of the debris from collapsed houses and landslides triggered by rains continuing for the last 36 hours.

The rains have triggered flashfloods in the Ganga, Yamuna and their tributaries at most of the places sweeping away a number of bridges, roads and buildings.

The swirling waters of Assiganga, a tributary of the Ganga, has swept away several buildings including a four storeyed house which had been vacated in advance and a temple.

Eight persons were killed yesterday in three separate incidents of house collapse in Dehradun and landslips in Rudraprayag districts.

Heavy rains caused a house at New Mithi Beri in Prem Nagar area of the city to cave in yesterday and five persons were killed and six injured after being hit by landslips in Rudrapayag district.

Four of them were killed near Bhim Gali at Rambara on Kedarnath pedestrian route while one was hit by a landslide near Gaurikund which is on way to Kedarnath, she said.

Five stationary buses, a truck and one JCB have been swept away in the flash floods in Uttarkashi district.

Parts of a gurudwara and a slew of refreshment kiosks in its vicinity at Govindghat, where devotees park their vehicles before undertaking the trek to Hemkund Sahib, were swept away by the flashfloods in Alaknanda, official sources in Chamoli said.

A chopper stationed there to ferry devotees to the Himalayan Sikh shrine and about six vehicles parked there were also washed away by the flashfloods, they said.

A Garhwal Vikas Nigam Ltd guest house, located at Birhi on Badrinath highway between Chamoli and Pipalkothi, was washed away by the flashfloods in Alaknanda.

The five bodies recovered this morning are of people buried in the debris of the houses swept away by flashfloods in the Mandakini river, SDM, Rudraprayag, Lalit Narayan Mishra said.

Thousands of people living along the banks of Mandakini river between Rudraparayag and Kedarnath have vacated their houses and taken shelter in makeshift tents in the adjoining forests, he said.

Telecommunication and wireless lines have been disrupted in the region, affecting passage of information.

Ganga river is flowing 1.65 m above the danger mark in Haridwar, flooding houses in residential areas of the city, especially those in lower areas. Human and animal corpses, trees, cars, TVs and refrigerators were also seen floating on the surface of the river.

With the road near Patanjali Yogpeeth washed away in the rains, the Haridwar-Delhi highway is blocked and Piran Kaliyar route is currently being used as an alternative.

Residences, slums, hotels and ashrams along the banks of the Ganga at Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh have all been flooded by river water. 

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