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National News Sourced Wired

Toll mounts to 50 in Uttarakhand cloudburst

Rudraprayag/Dehradun, Sep 18 (ANI): The death toll in cloudburst that triggered a massive landslide and affected nearly five villages of Uttarakhand, rose to 50 and about 20 people are still reported to be missing.

The cloudburst preceded by incessant rains led to a massive landslide in the state’s Rudraprayag district caused heavy damage in the hilly region rendering almost 500 people homeless.

Search and the rescue operations are in full swing in the cloudburst-hit area, but the official says rains have disrupted the relief and rescue work.

“Rescue operations are in full swing in the region and also the basic necessities are being provided to the homeless people staying in relief camps,” Director of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Department (DMMD), Piyush Rautela told ANI

“The incident happened on September 13 and 14 which affected four to five villages around Ukhimath. Again there were incidents of landslides in the morning of September 16. From this incident, so far 50 bodies have been recovered, and 20 people are still reported to be missing,” he said.

The operation to search the missing people is going on. The personnel from Indo Tibetan Border Police Force, National Disaster Response Force and Provincial Armed Constabulary are engaged in rescue operations. All our rescue teams are working. Two relief camps are there in Ukhimath for those who have been affected. About 500 people are staying there. All the necessary items like food and other basic facilities are being provided to them,” he added

The cloudburst that occurred in the wee hours on last Friday, wreaked havoc in several villages of the area and killed most of the victims in their sleep.

Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gandhi is likely to conduct an aerial survey of ravaged villages to assess the extent of damage in Rudraprayag.

She will also fly over Sangam Chatti, Bhatwari and neighbouring areas in Uttarkashi.

A senior administrative officer in Dehradun said Sonia Gandhi will interact with families of those displaced by the calamity in Ukhimath area. (ANI)