Dehradun: At least 5,000 people may have been killed in the Uttarakhand deluge, a state minister said on Sunday, as rescuers evacuated 12,000 more stranded people while 10,000 survivors still remained to be taken to safer places.

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Kedarnath Valley, the temple town which was the epicentre of the floods and landslides, was also cleared of all stranded pilgrims in stepped up rescue operations amid intermittent rains which led to evacuation of 12,000 pilgrims and tourists. Air operations had to be also briefly suspended due to bad weather.

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"At least 5,000 people must have been killed in the deluge that inflicted heavy damage on vast tracts of land especially in Kedarnath valley," Disaster Management Minister Yashpal Arya told reporters at Jolly Grant airport on his return from an aerial survey of affected areas. The official death toll as of yesterday was put at 680 while Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said the death toll is likely to be around
1,000.

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However, Arya did not give a specific figure saying extrication of bodies from under tonnes of debris in affected areas which is yet to be taken up may take some time.
    
So far, over 80,000 people have been evacuated, including 12,000 on Sunday, to safer areas in the rain-ravaged state with some 10,000 people still stranded in various places, DG, Press Information Bureau Neelam Kapur said in Delhi.

A Defence Ministry release said 45 choppers airlifted more than 3,200 people in 250 sorties in the IAF operations.

‘Netra’ to locate survivors
    
The NDRF also deployed its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) 'Netra' to help locate survivors in various areas. NDRF DIG SS Guleria said the UAV will operate on Monday as well to ensure all survivors are located and eventually evacuated.
    
Rope bridges and foot tracks were also being built and new routes opened to speed up the mammoth evacuation work, offering a ‘silver lining’ for the stranded people.
    
Kedarnath valley has been totally evacuated while over 3,000 stuck in Badrinath, Junglechatti and Harshil areas were evacuated to safe locations by the security forces on Sunday, officials said. Scores of dead bodies also lay strewn in Kedarnath temple area presenting a gory picture.

Fresh rains likely on Tuesday
    
With fresh rains likely to lash Uttarakhand on Tuesday, rescue work gathered steam in the hill state where 12,000 people were evacuated today.
   
"Rains on Tuesday are our main worry...if we get three to four hours of window, we can do well," Air Marshal SB Deo, DG, Air Operations told reporters here.
   
So far, over 80,000 people have been evacuated to safer areas in the rain-ravaged state with some 10,000 people still stranded in various places, DG, Press Information Bureau Neelam Kapur said.
   
State-run BSNL has operationalise helpline numbers 1503 and 09412024365 which are available free of cost from anywhere in the country. These numbers can be called to get information on the last active location of the BSNL mobile phones of the missing persons.

Over 3,200 people airlifted
   
Fighting against unfavourable weather conditions, the Army and the IAF on Sunday continued their rescue operations in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand where more than 3,200 people were evacuated by defence aircraft from the worst-affected areas of the state.
   
"Unfavourable weather prevailed in all sectors of Uttarakhand in the morning hours, yet IAF operations continued. 45 choppers airlifted more than 3,200 pilgrims in 250 sorties, dropping/landing 1,50,000 kg of relief material and equipment," a Defence Ministry release said.

The Ministry said the air operations began in affected areas after the C-130J undertook a weather recce mission while another aircraft carried fuel for chopper operations there.
   
Under 'Operation Rahat', the IAF has flown 1,158 sorties and evacuated 9,228 people and dropped over 1,50,000 kg of relief material.
   
Meanwhile, the Army evacuated all 1,000 stranded pilgrims in the mountain folds around Jungle Chatti in Kedar Valley.

(JPN/Agencies)

Latest News from India News Desk

 

 

Uttarakhand: Death toll may be above 5,000, says state government

 

U’Khand death toll may be above 5,000: Govt

    

Dehradun: At least 5,000 people may have been killed in the Uttarakhand deluge, a state minister said on Sunday, as rescuers evacuated 12,000 more stranded people while 10,000 survivors still remained to be taken to safer places.

    

Kedarnath Valley, the temple town which was the epicentre of the floods and landslides, was also cleared of all stranded pilgrims in stepped up rescue operations amid intermittent rains which led to evacuation of 12,000 pilgrims and tourists. Air operations had to be also briefly suspended due to bad weather.

 

 

"At least 5,000 people must have been killed in the deluge that inflicted heavy damage on vast tracts of land especially in Kedarnath valley," Disaster Management Minister Yashpal Arya told reporters at Jolly Grant airport on his return from an aerial survey of affected areas. The official death toll as of yesterday was put at 680 while Chief Minister

Vijay Bahuguna said the death toll is likely to be around

1,000.

    

However, Arya did not give a specific figure saying extrication of bodies from under tonnes of debris in affected areas which is yet to be taken up may take some time.

    

So far, over 80,000 people have been evacuated, including 12,000 on Sunday, to safer areas in the rain-ravaged state with some 10,000 people still stranded in various places, DG, Press Information Bureau Neelam Kapur said in Delhi.

    

A Defence Ministry release said 45 choppers airlifted more than 3,200 people in 250 sorties in the IAF operations.

 

‘Netra’ to locate survivors

    

The NDRF also deployed its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) 'Netra' to help locate survivors in various areas. NDRF DIG SS Guleria said the UAV will operate on Monday as well to ensure all survivors are located and eventually evacuated.

    

Rope bridges and foot tracks were also being built and new routes opened to speed up the mammoth evacuation work, offering a ‘silver lining’ for the stranded people.

    

Kedarnath valley has been totally evacuated while over 3,000 stuck in Badrinath, Junglechatti and Harshil areas were evacuated to safe locations by the security forces on Sunday, officials said. Scores of dead bodies also lay strewn in Kedarnath temple area presenting a gory picture.

 

Fresh rains likely on Tuesday

           

With fresh rains likely to lash Uttarakhand on Tuesday, rescue work gathered steam in the hill state where 12,000 people were evacuated today.

   

"Rains on Tuesday are our main worry...if we get three to four hours of window, we can do well," Air Marshal SB Deo, DG, Air Operations told reporters here.

   

So far, over 80,000 people have been evacuated to safer areas in the rain-ravaged state with some 10,000 people still stranded in various places, DG, Press Information Bureau Neelam Kapur said.

   

State-run BSNL has operationalise helpline numbers 1503 and 09412024365 which are available free of cost from anywhere in the country. These numbers can be called to get information on the last active location of the BSNL mobile phones of the missing persons.

 

Over 3,200 people airlifted

           

Fighting against unfavourable weather conditions, the Army and the IAF on Sunday continued their rescue operations in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand where more than 3,200 people were evacuated by defence aircraft from the worst-affected areas of the state.

           

"Unfavourable weather prevailed in all sectors of Uttarakhand in the morning hours, yet IAF operations continued. 45 choppers airlifted more than 3,200 pilgrims in 250 sorties, dropping/landing 1,50,000 kg of relief material and equipment," a Defence Ministry release said.

 

           

The Ministry said the air operations began in affected areas after the C-130J undertook a weather recce mission while another aircraft carried fuel for chopper operations there.

           

Under 'Operation Rahat', the IAF has flown 1,158 sorties and evacuated 9,228 people and dropped over 1,50,000 kg of relief material.

           

Meanwhile, the Army evacuated all 1,000 stranded pilgrims in the mountain folds around Jungle Chatti in Kedar Valley.

           

 

Uttarakhand flood, rescue operations in Uttarakhand, rain in Uttarakhand, Uttarakhand disaster, MeT department, flood in Uttarakhand, Uttarakhand government