By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 20 Aug: Heavy rains and landslides have wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand in the past 24 hours. At least four deaths were reported by today evening at the time of filing this report, even as 13 persons were reported to be missing and at least 12 reported to be injured so far.
Due to heavy rain, a house caved in, in Dhanaulti area of Tehri district. Seven people of the same family were buried in this accident. Rescue operations were underway and two bodies have been taken out so far. In Tehri district, seven members of a family got buried under the debris due to heavy landslide in Gwad village of Jaunpur block, due to cloudburst. Rescue teams recovered the bodies of the husband and wife, but the other five members are still buried under the rubble. In Kothar village of Kirtinagar in district Tehri, an 80-year-old woman was buried under the debris after debris came on top of the house. About 32 cattle were washed away and several hectares of land was also washed away due to cloudburst at different places.
Incessant rains were reported from Friday morning till this morning in several parts of the state, resulting in cloudburst at a few places including Raipur in Dehradun causing swelling up of river Song and others. As a result, flood water entered Thakurpur village from Nepali farm. More than 50 houses of the village were submerged due to cloudburst around 5 in the morning. Affected families climbed the roofs of their houses and other high places to save their lives. At the same time, food items, clothes, bedding etc. got spoiled by the flood waters. Many domestic animals were also reported to have perished.
Due to cloudburst in Yamkeshwar block under Pauri Garhwal, flood-like situation arose, after excessive rainfall in Taal Ghati, Hewal Valley and Satrudra River in Yamkeshwar. Traffic jams and land erosion were reported at some places in Yamkeshwar area. Yamkeshwar block recorded maximum rainfall of 128 mm in the past 24 hours. Dhanaulti SDM Laxmi Raj Chauhan claimed that the administration was monitoring the situation and the rescue operations were ocontinuing.
As the reports of disaster were reported from various places in the state, the government swung into action. Commandant SDRF Manikant Mishra reached the spot and himself led the rescue operations. After the torrential rains in the state of Uttarakhand since yesterday, there is a scene of devastation in various districts of the state. Somewhere houses have been damaged due to debris, and elsewhere people are trapped in the overflowing river drains. Since night, SDRF team is working with full readiness in relief and rescue work on a war footing.
SDRF Commandant Manikant Mishra is commanding the rescue operation at Maldevta in the most affected area of the disaster. He also put all the officers/employees of the Corps Headquarters and SDRF Control Room on high alert and necessary guidelines were being given after seeking minute by minute information about all the rescue operations going on across the state.
Those whose bodies were recovered in Dhanolti where seven of a family were crushed under the debris are Rajendra Singh, age 35 years, son of late Gulab Singh and Sunita Devi, wife of Rajendra Singh.
Rescue operation of those injured continued in Dhanaulti. They are Kamand Singh, age 40 years, son of Late Prem Singh; Magan Devi age 60 years, wife of Late Prem Singh; Rukmani Devi Age 35 Years, wife of Kamand Singh; Sachin age 15 years, son of Kamand Sing and Bina age 17 years, daughter of Kamand Singh. In addition, rescue operation is being conducted by SDRF team since midnight on the information of cloudburst in village Sarkhet, Raipur in Dehradun. More than 40 people were rescued from Sarkhet village and taken to a safe place. The disaster relief rescue work of SDRF team is still going on even as Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, Cabinet Minister Ganesh Joshi and MLA Umesh Sharma Kau were themselves monitoring the rescue operations.
The rescue operation was carried out by the SDRF team immediately on the information of a person being trapped due to the breakdown of the bridge in the middle of Dehradun, Thano-Raipur Road. Five persons were rescued safely in a vehicle stuck at the spot, in which a pregnant woman was rescued and sent to Jolly Grant Hospital.