IMD issues red alert in Uttarakhand’s five districts for next 3 days, warns of heavy rain
The IMD authorities advised the district administrations to be on their guard and maintain a strict vigil at settlements such as people living nears banks of rivulets, streams and landslide-prone areas.Updated: Jul 20, 2020 21:42 IST
India Meteorological Department (IMD) authorities on Monday afternoon issued a red alert – the public is urged to steer clear of potentially dangerous areas – and warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall to occur over five hill districts of Uttarakhand between Tuesday and Thursday.
A bulletin issued by Bikram Singh, director, Regional Meteorological Centre, stated, “Heavy to very heavy rainfall with intense to very intense spells is very likely (60% probability) to occur over Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Bageshwar and Pithoragarh districts of Uttarakhand between Tuesday and Thursday.”
These districts are likely to experience landslides, boulder fall, overflowing of gushing streams and blockade or a washout of link roads.
The IMD authorities advised the district administrations to be on their guard and maintain a strict vigil at settlements such as people living nears banks of rivulets, streams and landslide-prone areas.
There is a forecast for heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places in Dehradun, Haridwar, Tehri, Pauri, Nainital, and Almora districts in the Himalayan state between Tuesday and Thursday.
Praveen Alok, an official from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), on Monday, said that in the past 24 hours, over 500 people were evacuated to safer places by alternate route after a road was blocked at Pipalkoti in Chamoli district on Sunday.
Eight rescue operations were conducted by SDRF personnel and some are still underway across the hill state.
Officials from State Emergency Operations Centre said that National Highway-(NH) 58, which leads to the Badrinath shrine, was blocked near Lambagad, a landslide-prone area till Monday afternoon.
The Thal-Munisyari highway was also blocked at three places. Work is in progress to clear the debris.
State officials, however, exuded confidence of meeting the annual nature’s fury during monsoon.
Ravinath Raman, commissioner, Garhwal Mandal, said regular review meetings with district magistrates (DMs) are being conducted to monitor the situation.
“We have instructed all DMs to take precautionary measures and ensure the safety of people in the hilly regions during monsoon. Satellite phones for improved communication; protection equipment such as torches and ropes for rescue have already been provided to all district authorities. Funds are also available with the district authorities to give compensation to anyone affected due to heavy rainfall,” said Raman.
Leaves of all field staff engaged in disaster management have been cancelled until September, he added.
Officials have also identified cloudburst-prone areas in Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, and Chamoli districts in Garhwal, and Bageshwar and Pithoragarh districts in Kumaon, where DMs have been asked to keep an additional vigil.