sns & pti
DEHRA DUN/SHIMLA/NEW DELHI, 18 JUNE: The Kedarnath shrine was virtually submerged in mud and slush where 50 people died in the unprecedented flash floods that claimed over 131 lives in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and left over 70,000 pilgrims for Himalayan shrines stranded.
The shrine, one of the four holy dhams, in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, bore the brunt of the torrential rains. About 500 people, including several pilgrims, are said to be missing in the area.
Kukhimath Sub Divisional Magistrate Rakesh Tewari told reporters after his return from Kedarnarth that 50 bodies are lying in areas adjacent to the shine. “We are right now concentrating on rescuing those who are alive,” he said.
The death toll may rise significantly once water recedes and relief teams are able to access the affected areas.
A portion of the Kedarnath temple compound was washed away but the authorities said no damage was reported to the structure itself.
The Ram Bada area, a busy spot near the temple, has been completely submerged and was not visible from rescue choppers. Army Central Command officials said that nearly 6,000 to 8,000 people are stranded in Kedarnath, 2,500 in Hemkund Sahib and around 8,000 in Badrinath.
Thousands have been displaced in Uttar Pradesh where several rivers are in spate. The death toll in Uttarakhand has reached 102. Haryana government tonight announced Rs 10 crore for relief work in Uttarakhand.
Meanwhile, the ITBP today denied reports that three of its troopers who were involved in rescue and relief operations in rain-hit Uttarakhand have been killed.