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Monday, June 17, 2013

Heavy rains lash N. India, 50 killed Landslides In HP, U’khand Leave 20,000 Stranded

New Delhi:While some parts of the country are enjoying early monsoon showers, torrential downpours have sent mounds of earth crashing into homes, uprooting trees and
destroying buildings, especially in the hill states. Overflowing rivers have swallowed vast swathes of north India, leaving at least 50 dead and thousands homeless. Nearly 20,000 people are still trapped in various places because of wrecked roads and bridges.
    Uttarakhand has deferred the Chardham Yatra while the Kailash Mansarovar yatra stands cancelled.

City sees wettest June in 22 years
In a record of sorts, the city has received the highest rainfall since 1991 for the June 1-16 period with Colaba recording 748.9mm and Santa Cruz 755.8mm. In comparison, in 1991, the entire month had logged 905.8mm of rain. P 2 
Record rains wreak havoc in U'khand
New Delhi: Met office in Dehradun said rains in June have broken an 88-year record. By Sunday, the Uttarakhand capital had received 220 mm of rains, which blocked the NH-58. As many as 123 roads in Garhwal, too, have been blocked, a PWD official said.
    "Fearing further rain and landslides, the Char Dham Yatra and Hemkund Sahib trek have been stopped," an official told news agencies. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel have fanned out to evacuate people trapped in Kedarnath and Gaurikund. An Uttarakhand government official said a private helicopter and more than 200 two-wheelers at Govindghat near Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara were swept away due to flash floods in Alakanda. "Those stranded in the hills are being shifted to colleges and schools for medical care and food. ," said a senior IAS officer in Dehradun.
    Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna said leaves of all government employees have been cancelled and seven private helicopters and one state chopper are being used for rescue. In Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district, nine people came under a landslide that blocked roads, leaving chief minister Virbhadra Singh stranded in Sangla Valley. More than 1,000 tourists were marooned in various places, including 800 in Sangla, where heavy rains have obstructed rescue work. About 25 foreigners and a Doordarshan team are still wedged in Kinnaur, according to district authorities.
    "Over 700 people, including CM Virbhadra Singh campaigning for Mandi Lok Sabha bypolls were stranded in Sangla valley and army's help has been sought," said chief secretary S Roy. Heavy rains in Haryana, particularly Yamunanagar, caused floods and Yamuna rose menacingly, prompting authorities to sound "high alert" in Karnal, Panipat and Sonepat. Several low-lying villages were inundated after heavy rainfall hit Yamuna and its catchment areas — a rise that coincided with over eight lakh cusecs water flowing through the Hathni Kund barrage early Monday morning, taking the river's level close to the danger mark in Delhi.
    At least 50 people have gone missing after a cloudburst in Rambada, Uttarakhand, officials said. The worst hit areas are Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi where the Mandakini flows unbridled. Her waters have entered the mar
ket area in Rambada.
    In Yamunanagar, Haryana, 72 people including 20 children and 15 women, stranded for over 12 hours after torrential rains flooded their villages, were rescued on Monday by the army and the IAF in a joint operation.
    Though the monsoon promises prospects of a copious farm output that would help restrain inflation, the Centre as well as Uttarakhand, Haryana, HP and UP governments will be grappling with a widening arc of human tragedy as the country gears up for four major assembly elections this year and the general elections before the next monsoon.

Mumbai navy men among those stranded
Mumbai: A group of 20 naval personnel from Mumbai was among the pilgrims who were stranded in Badrinath since the cloudburst two days ago. "The group from Mumbai comprises navy staff and their families. They had booked an eight-day tour with their families and were expected to embark on the last leg of their tour in Rishikesh on Monday before returning to Mumbai. However, the heavy downpour has forced them to stay put in their hotel in Badrinath," said Omprakash Badoni, chief public relations officer of Uttarakhand Tourism, Mumbai.
    Officials in Mumbai as well as Joshimath said that since Sunday, communication to Badrinath was cut off as roads crumbled in the wake of the deluge, power lines snapped and phone cables broke.
    "No landline or cellphone lines are functioning in that pilgrim town. However, we know the tourists are safe. We are hoping the rain subsides so the roads reopen and the stranded people can be rescued," said Satish Khanduri, a tourism officer in Rishikesh. TNN

A part of a road is washed away after a landslide near Hemkunt Sahib in Chamoli, Uttarakhand

DEADLY FLOW: Flood water from Alaknanda river destroys buildings in Uttrakhand on Monday. Monsoon woes gripped several parts of North India on Monday as heavy rain wreaked havoc in the hill states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, leaving over 50 people dead and hundreds stranded

72 stranded villagers, including 20 children, were rescued in Yamuna Nagar, Haryana

Waterlogging near Vijay Chowk in New Delhi

A submerged bridge on the road to Kedarnath Valley in Rudraprayag

A student carries her two-wheeler on a rickshaw after heavy rains in Lucknow


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