State survivors recall horror

State survivors recall horror

Residents of the city who survived the Uttarakhand cloudburst and the subsequent floods and landslides had some harrowing stories to share. They shuddered at the helplessness they had experienced, and the carnage they had witnessed.

“I had an extremely bad experience. We were stuck between the mountain range and overflowing rivers. There was no shelter, food, water or power. At one point, I thought there was no way out,” recalled former minister Shobha Karandlaje, who was among the 80 survivors who arrived in the city from the northern state on Friday.

The experience reminded her of the English film “2012”  which revolved around a world-altering catastrophe. “I also felt that Lord Shiva was dancing in rage, probably angered by the degradation of ecology in Rudraprayag area,” she said.

Stuck in Budla in Uttarakhand for four days along with around 1,000 pilgrims mainly from West Bengal, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, Shobha said the landslide began on June 15 when she was returning from Gangotri. “Three people, who were in a car behind us, died after the vehicle fell into a ditch. We were sandwiched between high mountains and the flooded Ganga. On top of the hill, we could see landslides inflicting damage,” she said.
“The worst hit were women and children. It was disheartening to see children and the aged falling sick after drinking muddy water. We could hardly sleep because we were constantly worried about rising waters and landslides,” she said.

Sisters Sharada (46) and Kusuma (41) from the City who were on Char Dham tour to Uttarakhand, had a lucky break when their bus was intercepted on way to Badrinath after a visit to Kedarnath.

The sisters, residents of Srirampura, said: “On June 16, we were on our way from Kedarnath to Badrinath when our tour bus was stopped by some military officers who warned us of mudslides on the way and forced us to deviate to Karnaprayag. They said the Pindar river had risen by 10 feet and the bridge over it might get washed away.”

They were provided accommodation at a hotel in Karnaprayag along with others.
“We could see from the third floor of our hotel small houses being washed away by the flood caused by the incessant rains. However, some officials from the Karnataka Disaster Management Centre in Dehradun assured us of a safe rescue,” Sharada recalled.
Access to drinking water was the toughest part, and the only way to get it was by collecting rainwater.

On Wednesday, the sisters were rescued by the National Disaster Management Authority who took them to Haridwar from where they boarded a train bound for Delhi.

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