Pithoragarh: Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Monday flew to the rain-hit areas of Dharchula in Pithoragarh district where six persons were killed and an army jawan went missing in two separate incidents of cloudbursts in the early hours.
Accompanied by state finance minister Prakash Pant, Rawat said the affected areas of Dharchula of the border district were extremely disaster-prone and the disaster management department has been asked to prepare an action plan to deal with recurring landslides and other rain-related incidents in the area. However, the chief minister said there was no need to panic as the administration was fully alert and prepared to tackle any situation. Relief and rescue operations have been launched on war footing in the affected areas by the army, NDRF and SDRF personnel and people in areas along the banks of rivers and rivulets and other locations prone to landslides were being evacuated to safety, he said.
The road from Malpa to Gal and the Lamadi-Chudi road was badly affected by the landslides, Pant who accompanied the chief minister to take stock of the situation, said. People and devotees were also stranded in the Vyas Valley and were being evacuated to safety by choppers, Pant said.
Six persons were killed and one army jawan went missing in two separate cloudbursts in Dharchula sub division in the early hours on Monday.
According to the district administration, the first incident occurred at Mangti Nullah near Tawaghat in Dharchula sub division when swirling waters of Mangti Nullah which was in spate after heavy rains hit some shops and an army camp below the Nullah. The army, NDRF and SDRF teams have recovered two bodies from the spot while one army jawan is missing, Pithoragarh district magistrate Ashish Chauhan said. The second cloud burst occurred at Malpa, where an overflowing local rivulet swept away four persons. Disaster mitigation teams later recovered four bodies while one person has been saved. "We have pressed into service rescue and rehabilitation personnel from the NDRF and SDRF beside ITBP and army jawans and a massive search operation has been launched to trace the missing," district disaster management officer Pithoragarh RS Rana said.