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Kedarnath -Worst affected in Flash floods Last Updated : 20 Jun 2013 02:48:11 PM IST Kedarnath -Worst affected in Flash floods
Kedarnath temple in the district of Rudraprayag in Uttarkhand has been one of the worst hit in the flash floods.
Massive devastation has taken place in kedarnath site as 10 feet high debris have been accumulated inside the temple. About 50 villages around the kedarnath site and 100 dharmshalas have been washed away .
ITBP DG Ajay Chaddha has said that Kedarnath has been totally cut-off due to floods and landslides and can only be reached by air. Bad weather is also causing problems in the rescue operation," he said.
There have been a fresh landslide in Almora. Entire roads have caved in and several others have been washed away. Repair work is underway and authorities are attempting to clear the rubble.
The Himalayan tragedy continued to unfold today with fears that thousands of pilgrims staying in 90 rest houses have been washed away in flash floods even as rescue operations were today stepped up with additional IAF choppers pressed into service to evacuate stranded people in Kedarnath area.
Kedarnath is located at about 3584 metres (11759 feet) above sea level. The town is located near the Chorabari Glacier, which forms the the head of the Mandakini river.
Flash floods bacame montrous due to the incessant rains . Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri -- as part of the Char Dham pilgrimage. From May to October, Kedarnath Temple alone receives around 5,000 pilgrims a day.
The lingam at Kedarnath unlike the usual form is pyramidal and is regarded as one of the 12 Jyotirlings. Kedarnath is highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas.
The temple is closed for six months because of heavy snowfall.
Thousands of pilgrims who were attending the trek are believed to be stranded and according to the IAF, Kedarnath remains the worst hit area in the floods. The IAF has said that by tomorrow all critical evacuations from Kedarnath should be over and nearly 15,000 people have been rescued for now.
In its report to the Union Home Ministry, the State Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre has said that casualties in the affected areas may run into thousands with about 90 'dharamashalas' (rest houses for pilgrims) swept away in the flash floods.However, the toll has been kept officially at 150.
With the weather clearing up, the focus was on rescue operations both in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh where two
IAF and one state chopper was making sorties to rescue 600 stranded tourists.
In Uttarakhand, over 15,000 people stranded in Kedarnath and Govindghat on way to Hemkund Sahib have been evacuated so far to Joshimath relief camps through air and road routes, IG police R S Meena told.
"Apart from the 12 helicopters already engaged in rescue operations in affected areas, eight more have been roped in for the purpose to step up the process," Meena said.
Rescue efforts are being concentrated as of now on Kedarnath shrine and its adjoining areas in Rudraprayag district which has been the worst hit with about 90 dharamshalas in the temple area, where pilgrims were staying.having been swept away by the flood waters, he said.
Two helicopters have flown from Dehradun to evacuate stranded people.The Army has also deployed its mountain rescue
teams to evacuate the pilgrims.
Scores of villages remain under water and cannot be tracked.Hence there is uncertainty about the casualties caused, he said, adding the "devastation is massive".
Rescue efforts also picked up in rain-battered tribal Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh with two IAF and one state chopper making sorties to rescue 600 tourists and others stranded in remote areas.
The sorties started at 6.30 AM in the morning and people stranded at various places for past five days are being dropped at Rampur, official sources said.
In all, 278 people were evacuated till yesterday evening and about 600 tourist and other people were still stranded at various places.Source: IANS, Other Agencies, Staff Reporters
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