At least 500 people were left stranded after a landslide blocked a highway in Uttarakhand on Saturday.
Triggered by rain, Gangotri highway was blocked by stones and rocks falling from a hill, causing tourists and pilgrims to wait for hours for it to be reopened.
“We were coming from Gomukh and we were told that for more than an hour a landslide has taken place from the top and the rain hasn’t stopped. Trees have fallen and rocks are falling, which has jammed the road,” said one stranded person, Suri in Uttarkashi town.
Disaster management officer, Devendra Patwal, said rocks were still falling on the reopened route.
“We are trying to open the route but continuous falling of rocks is causing a hindrance. I have been informed that the route has been opened but the rocks continue to fall. One has been injured and taken to hospital,” said Patwal.
One resident, Siroru Lal described what happened.
“There is a big landslide and from the top it is sliding downwards and falling over the houses. Now the land is sliding from the other part also and the village is in danger,” said Lal.
Over the last month, rainfall in the district damaged over 70 houses. Four people were killed and 109 cattle died, the local administration said.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Kangra, Sudesh Kumar Mokhta, said those affected will be compensated.
“In financial figures rupees one crore nine lakh (170,348 USD ) has been calculated and for the relief nearly one lakh one thousand (1,578 USD ) has been given. All other cases are being timely processed by the SDM and the damages will be compensated in few weeks. I hope the weather gets fine soon.”,” said Mokhta.