More than 6,000 people were stranded in the mountains of Uttarakhand following four straight days of torrential rains and landslides that have killed one person.
The weather office warned of heavy rainfall in several areas on the pilgrimage route, evoking memories of last year’s disaster, when heavy rains and landslides washed away swathes of land and killed over 5,000 people.
People in low-lying areas along rivers have been asked to shift to safer locations and authorities said they were constantly monitoring water levels in the Gola and Kosi river barrages.
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“Our security forces are always in a state of preparedness. We are constantly monitoring the situation with the support of weather forecasts by the IMD,” said Nainital senior superintendent of police Vimmi Sachdeva. Piyoosh Rautela, director of the State Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, said people who were stranded were safe but would only be able to move to safe locations after weather conditions improved.
More than 5,000 people are stuck on the route to Badrinath, while 1,600 are on the Kedarnath and Hemkund Saheb pilgrimage routes. They include 408 pilgrims.
Rudraprayag district magistrate Raghav Langar told people not to panic after one person was crushed to death in a field when a rock tumbled down a hill.
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“We have stocked up sufficient food for the next two months and there is no crisis-like situation,” he said.
Yoga guru Ramdev and his 450 followers, who had been stranded in Gangotri and Gaumukh, were expected to reach Haridwar by Friday evening, but were delayed because of incessant rains.
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