The toll due to rain-related incidents in Uttarakhand rose to 52 on Wednesday, The Indian Express reported, citing data from the state government. Till Tuesday, 28 people had died in Nainital district alone.
Eleven people who were on a trek from to Chitkul in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh via Harsil in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand have gone missing, the District Disaster Management Officer Devendra Patwal told the newspaper.
Four days of heavy rainfall in the state has caused landslides in several places and damaged homes and roads.
Uttarakhand’s Ranikhet and Almora areas were cut off from the plains, NDTV reported. Ranikhet is running out of fuel. Phone and internet facilities have been disrupted in several places, according to the news channel.
The Nainital-Kaladhungi road, blocked on Tuesday after heavy rain, has now reopened, ANI reported.
Fifteen teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in Uttarakhand for relief and rescue operations. As of Tuesday, the teams had rescued more than 300 people from flood-hit areas, PTI reported.
Fifty-five tourists remain stranded in Nainital after a landslide, the Hindustan Times reported. They are from Chhattisgarh.
“An army unit reached the spot [Kainchi Dham] Tuesday evening and provided food and other help,” Chhattisgarh’s Public Relations Commissioner Dipanshu told the newspaper. “They are presently at a school in the area. We are in touch with them, and rescue operations will start soon.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Uttarakhand on Wednesday evening to review the flood situation, ANI reported. On Tuesday, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had visited flood-affected areas and announced Rs 4 lakh compensation for the families of the deceased.
Dhami said that the state had suffered massive damage because of the torrential rain, ANI reported.
“Rainfall has slowed down,” he added. “It will take time to return to normalcy. Roads were washed away, there were landslides, rivers changed their routes, villages were affected, bridges collapsed.”
The Uttarakhand chief minister said the work to clear roads has started on war footing. “We are rescuing the tourists who are stranded,” Dhami said. “The situation is slowly becoming normal at [the] Char Dham Yatra.”
Dhami said that district magistrates have been given Rs 10 crore each for relief and rescue work. “Local administration has been asked to make arrangements to see that people don’t lack food and water,” he added.
Rain forecast for other states
The weather department said that a fresh western disturbance is likely to cause rain and snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh on Friday. Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are likely to receive rain on Saturday.
South India is also likely to be hit by rain over the next few days, the India Meteorological Department said.
“A fresh spell of easterly wave is likely to affect south Peninsular India and cause fairly widespread to wide spread rainfall with isolated heavy falls likely over Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and Karaikal during 19th-23nd [October],” it added.
Karnataka is also likely to receive rainfall from Wednesday to Saturday, the India Meteorological Department said.