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Uttarakhand floods: 3 killed as rains stall relief efforts, 4700 missing so far

Last Updated: Monday, July 8, 2013 - 17:41

Dehradun: Three members of a family were on Monday killed in a house collapse as a fresh spell of rains stalled relief operations in flood-ravanged Uttarakhand, where the authorities said that the number of people missing has mounted to over 4700.
Two women and a child belonging to one family were killed when the ceiling of their house collapsed in Vikasnagar area of Dehradun, officials here said.

The roof of the house caved in under the impact of debris from the hills, killing them on the spot, they said.

About eight houses in Urgam valley of Chamoli district were damaged due to heavy rains today forcing the occupants to vacate them and move to safer places, Chamoli`s District Magistrate S A Murugesan told.

People living in those houses are safe as they have been evacuated apprehending damage, he said.

Water level in Bhagirathi river in Uttarkashi has been constantly on the rise with villages of Tiloth and Joshiyara villages facing the danger of being inundated.

People living in houses located along the banks of the river have been asked to move to safer places, officials here said.

IAF`s C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, commissioned after choppers engaged in the operations earlier failed to fly relief material to affected areas, has also not been helpful in the inclement weather.

It had to return from a sortie this morning after failing to drop relief material due to overcast skies and low visibility conditions, NDMA member in charge of relief operations in the hill state V K Duggal told.

The aircraft was supposed to airdrop relief material in worst-hit Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Rudraprayag districts including Kedarnath where the process of cremating bodies is being carried out by a team of over 70 experts and trained personnel who are said to be facing food shortage.

The plane was loaded with relief material last night for Kedarnath and other flood-hit areas but so far it has not been able to carry out its mission, he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said the number of people missing in the tragedy has risen to over 4700 out of which 750 are from Uttarakhand.

Those missing will be presumed dead if they don`t surface
by July 15, Bahuguna said, adding the process of paying compensation to the next of the kin will begin after that date.

Bahuguna had earlier pegged the number of missing persons after the calamity at 3,068.

Relief operations remained badly affected in all districts with no chopper operations carried out so far since morning and the network of major roads and highways still damaged affecting transportation of food, medicines and other relief material.

The Chamoli DM said choppers have not been able to take off due to bad weather and with roads still breached, relief cannot reach the affected people either way causing concern among the authorities.


First Published: Monday, July 8, 2013 - 12:16

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