In wake of heavy rainfall and cloudburst in different parts of Uttarakhand, the Meteorological Department on Sunday issued an orange alert and said there can be isolated heavy rains in the next 24 hours.
What is an Orange alert:
This category of ORANGE level weather warnings is for weather conditions which have the capacity to impact significantly on people in the affected areas. The issue of an Orange level weather warning implies that all recipients in the affected areas should prepare themselves in an appropriate way for the anticipated conditions.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat earlier on Sunday chaired a meeting to review the ongoing rescue and relief operations in the areas affected by heavy rains and cloudburst. The relief and rescue operation is going on at a war footing in the villages of Uttarakhand. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), the state police and the revenue department teams are engaged in this job. The death toll in Pithoragarh and Chamoli districts of state has risen to 16.
In seven villages, including Bastari under Didihat tehsil of Pithoragarh, 13 people have been rescued alive from the debris. So far, 10 dead bodies have been recovered, while about 17 people are still buried under the debris. In four villages of Chamoli district, six people have been killed, while three others are missing.
Meanwhile, Rishikesh-Badrinath national highway is still blocked at some places. Gangotri and Yamunotri national highways have also been disrupted at several places in Uttarakashi district.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the Public Works Department (PWD) personnel have been pressed into service to reopen all the three yatra routes. Almost all major rivers in the state are flowing near the danger mark. In view of this, the authorities have asked the people living in low lying areas to move to safer places.