Dehradun, May 29: Uttarakhand on Saturday witnessed heavy rains and cloud bursts in the of Tehri, Kumaon and Gadwal district; leading to damage to roads and hundreds of houses. Due to incident, the Rudraprayag-Badrinath highway remained affected and traffic was at a standstill for almost an hour after the incident.
The calamity left hundreds of pilgrims of ‘Char Dham yatra’ stranded for hours but no reports of any human casualty have come till now. Local authorities made sure that the pilgrims travelling to Badrinath were escorted to safer areas.
District Magistrate in-charge Ahmed Iqbal said, “As the cloudbursts took place during daytime, people were alert enough to run to safety. Ghansali SDM Vinod Kumar alongwith a team of police personnel has been sent to the affected area to take stock of the situation".
The Gangotri-Kedarnath national highway was blocked due to heavy rains, affecting traffic movement of the road. It could take two to three days to clear the road, a police official said. Two-three rooms of a school building were also washed away. However, there were no students at the time of the incident at around 2 pm. A couple of residential buildings were also said to be damaged by the heavy current of water flowing down the hillside.
A number of two wheelers and cars were also buried under tonnes of debris that inundated the villages. The cloudbursts took place at about 3 pm on Saturday in Kothiara village bringing around 50 residential houses under loads of debris. The cloudburst caused a mudslide, and water mixed with rubble flowed toward the town of Rudraprayag. A lot of the mud from the mudslide also washed into the farms of the local farmers. Similar cloudbursts took place at Kemra and Siliara villages washing away the Siliara motorbridge.
Twenty residential houses in Kemra and fifty in Siliara came under rubble. A flash flood razed the Brightlands Public School building in Gir village, Iqbal said. A large number of residential houses at Gangar village were buried under the debris but so far there have been no reports of human casualties. Due to the incident, the water supply services, electric supply and gas services were affected. The authorities are working to bring the situation under control.
A cloudburst on June 16, 2013 had devastated Kedar Valley which is home to the famous Kedarnath Temple, killing more than 5,000 people and displacing thousands of others besides causing extensive damage.