At least 15,000 tourists were left stranded in Uttarakhand after a landslide near Vishnuprayag on the Badrinath route in Chamoli district, as per news agency ANI. The Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway has been blocked says PTI. The agency quoted District Collector Ashish Joshi saying that BRO (Border Roads Organisation) personnel are engaged in clearing the roads and it could be opened for the traffic by the afternoon tomorrow. He also added that efforts are being made to provide all facilities to these pilgrims who are stranded at Joshimath, Karnaprayag, Pipalkoti, Govindghat and Badrinath.
Uttarakhand is believed to be a landslide prone area and has witnessed many floods in the last couple of years as well. According to a report published by The Indian Express, heavy rains had triggered cloudbursts in several districts of Uttarakhand, killing at least 30 people and washing away houses. Following the flash flood, the water level rose in the Nandaprayag area. Meanwhile, a similar incident happened in 2015 when over 500 pilgrims were left stranded in Badrinath as yet another landslide had blocked the road near Joshimath in Chamoli district in Gopeshwar.
Even this year, before the Badrinath yatra commenced on April 26, a landslide occurred at the underground Vishnuprayag Hydroelectric Power House in Hathi Parbat. However, it was cleared before the yatra started. In 2013, the state witnessed flash floods and landslides which were considered the worst natural disaster in the country since the Tsunami in 2004.