Four people, including three children, died after houses collapsed due to heavy rain in Dharchula sub-division of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh on Sunday night, PTI reported. Several others are missing.
The incident occurred in Jumma village, said Pithoragarh District Magistrate Ashish Chauhan. He added that the disaster took place as debris and muck due to a cloudburst hit three houses, according to the Hindustan Times. The affected village is around 125 km from the district headquarters.
Bodies of the three children were recovered on Monday, whereas another was found at a different part of Jumma. A search operation was underway to find others.
“The casualties could be higher as the affected village is on the top of a hill,” Chauhan said.
Rescue operations by the state and the National Disaster Response Teams are underway but most parts of the roads have caved in and bridges have been washed away. A helipad is being built in the affected area to rescue people by helicopters.
“We have made an aerial survey of the village by a helicopter and sent SDRF and NDRF teams, along with police and revenue teams, to the village to run relief and rescue operations on a war footing,” the district magistrate said.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami asked Chauhan to offer all possible help to the affected people. “Instructions have been given to the district magistrate to intensify the rescue mission,” he tweeted in Hindi. “I pray to God for the safety of the people trapped there.”
Heavy rainfall has been lashing Pithoragarh district for the last four to five days.
On Sunday evening, the weather department issued a “persistent flash flood threat” in the areas adjoining Pithoragarh. The alert mentioned that moderate to high threats of flash floods existed till 11.30 pm on Sunday in Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts of Uttarakhand.