Dehradun: The terrible magnitude of nature's fury in Uttarakhand unfolded on Wednesday as the death toll rose to 150 with fears that it may go up substantially as large parts of the state remained under water while hundreds of houses and buildings lay in ruins.

Uttarakhand Floods In Pics

After an aerial survey of the affected areas, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a Rs 1,000 crore aid to the state where large-scale devastation has occurred.
Singh, who undertook an aerial survey of rain-ravaged Uttarakhand along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, said what they saw was ‘most distressing’ and the priority for the authorities was to rescue the stranded people.
"I have also directed all Central agencies to render all possible assistance in their domain to the state," he told reporters on his return.

The Prime Minister said it is feared that the loss of lives could eventually be much higher.

"So far, more than 10,000 people have been rescued and are being provided food, clothing and shelter. Many persons still remain stranded. The maximum damage has been in Kedarnath and its vicinity," he said.

Rescue operations expedited

Skies cleared on Wednesday enabling stepping up of rescue and relief operations but the efforts were hampered by the vast destruction of the roads caused by landslips and flash floods that damaged hundreds of houses, buildings, hotels and government guest houses.

Several thousand pilgrims from across the country are still stranded in the state as reports came that the Kedarnath temple, one of the four holy dhams, was intact but the temple complex and the Rambada area around it have suffered total destruction.

The state and Central governments have deployed all possible resources to deal with the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

About 5,500 jawans and officers of the army, 3,000 men of the Border Roads Organisation and 600 ITBP personnel are engaged in relief and rescue efforts.

Thirteen teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been put into work. The Air Force has deployed 18 helicopters and C130 aircraft. Private helicopters are also being engaged by the state government.


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