Two persons were reportedly killed and one injured in rain-related incident in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand as heavy rains lashed the region on Tuesday. Hundreds of affected villagers were moved to safer locations after their houses suffered extensive damage due to the incessant rains.

Around 300 villagers living along the banks of the swelling Gauri river were shifted to Dantukheda Inter College after their houses suffered damage. Many in other parts of Pithoragarh had to flee their homes to escape the damage caused by rains to their homes.

A dozen families were shifted from Girgoan village. At Chena Madkot, debris entered 12 houses forcing the natives to take refuge in their relative’s house and at the Panchayat Bhawan.

Fourteen other families of Madkot had to abandon their house and take shelter in a college building. Fourteen families from Ruispata and fifteen from Dantukheda were shifted on Tuesday to Pithoragarh.

Normal life in many parts of Uttarakhand has gone for a toss with continuous rainfall. The state government has taken precautionary measures following the meteorological department’s warning about heavy downpour.

Secretary of Disaster Management Amit Negi said, “The administration is fully alert in view of heavy rains in the state. However, the situation is normal. Several roads which are sensitive from view point of landslides have been identified and earth-movers, Polk land machines and manpower have been deployed at such places so that in case of landslides, the blocked roads could be opened immediately.”

In view of heavy rains, the Uttarakhand government has cancelled leave of field staff till 15 September.  All the concerned officers and employees associated with disaster management have been put on alert.

Efforts have been made to establish quick coordination with Indian Army, ITBP, BRO and other agencies in case of a crisis. Alternate routes have been charted out at places along the national highway where the threat from landslides is severe. These alternate routes are meant to facilitate the transshipment of people using vehicles on both sides of a landslide site.

To ensure uninterrupted connectivity during rescue operations, a very high number of satellite phones have been issued to district magistrates.

“Uttarakhand is one of the states where the largest number of satellite telephones is being used. We have 74 satellite telephones which are provided to District Magistrates. We have arranged for two helicopters one each for Garhwal and Kumoan regions,” said Amit Negi.

Temporary shelters have been identified on the ‘Char Dham Yatra’ route where pilgrims could be stopped safely in case of any emergency. The pilgrims going to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra are however safe. The SDRF teams have been deployed at 31 places in the state.