Death toll rises to 17 in Uttarkashi cloudburst, SDRF launches rescue operation

Uttarkashi: Death toll due to cloudburst in Arakot village of Uttarkashi rose to 17 as personnel of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) launched an operation to rescue people stranded in the affected area on Monday morning.

"Seventeen people have died in the cloudburst in Mori tehsil," Secretary (Incharge) Disaster Management, S A Murugesan, told ANI.

For relief and rescue operation in the affected areas of Mori Tehsil of the district, the state government have pressed two helicopters into action that reached the village with communication equipment and ropes in the morning.

Makuri, Tikochi, Arakot are the most affected villages in Mori area. Relief teams were facing problem to reach the area due to damaged roads, an official said. Three medical teams have also reached Arokot from Naugaon and Purola areas to deal with medical emergencies.

The SDRF has rescued an injured from Sanel and admitted him to a hospital in Arakot. As many as 170 people have been shifted to the forest rest house.

Administration is also distributing relief material in the area and has started working to restore a bridge and wireless tower to resume communication in the region, an official said.

One team of SDRF personnel has been kept ready at Sahastradhara on standby mode. On Sunday, police had recovered bodies of six people including a Nepali nationals in the border area of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarkashi.

Bad weather conditions on Sunday hampered the rescue operation in the region. A cloudburst had hit Mori Tehsil in Uttarkashi district on Sunday, prompting the state government to dispatch teams of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to carry out rescue and evacuation operations.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted widespread rainfall over the next three days in Uttarkashi. All schools in Tehri, including government and private, will remain shut on Monday.

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