DEHRADUN: At least 41 people were killed on Saturday rnight as incessant rains wreaked havoc in the hill state of Uttarakhand triggering landslides and floods which rendered hundreds homeless.
Authorities shut schools for three days as the death count owing to relentless rains rose to 60 in the state in the past two days. The help of army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) had been sought for relief and rescue operations in the state where major rivers were flowing above the red mark, an official spokesman said. Seven people were still trapped under the debris of flattened houses in cloudburst-hit villages, he said.
River Ganga, flowing two metres above the danger mark in Haridwar, inundated several areas in the district with holy place Har-Ki-Puari completely submerged under water. Rivers Yamuna, Kosi and Ramganga were also in spate as the weather bureau predicted heavy rains in the state in the next 48 hours.
Almora district in the state was the worst-hit with landslides striking several villages killing 28 people, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Centre said. Naintal accounted for 11 deaths, Haridwar seven and Pauri three, it said.
The Chief Minister, Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank was monitoring the situation constantly and had asked concerned authorities to carry out rescue and relief operations on a war-footing, the spokesman said. He also held telephonic talks with the Prime Minister and sought maximum assistance to cope with the situation.
Each of the 13 affected districts had been given ` 71 crore for relief work, an official release said.