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Rains trigger landslide in Uttarakhand, briefly disrupts Char Dham yatra

The landslide occurred at a stretch of the National Highway 123, between Damta and Saarigarh.

india Updated: May 26, 2017 20:25 IST
HT Correspondent
Boulders block the road to Badrinath in Uttarakhand following a landslide on May 19. (PTI File photo)

The annual Char Dham yatra was briefly disrupted on Friday after landslides triggered by incessant rains blocked a key road to the Hindu pilgrimage of Yamunotri in Uttarakhand, officials said.

It was the second time in as many weeks the Char Dham Yatra – an annual pilgrimage to four holy sites – was disrupted by landslides in the Himalayan state.

According to police, the landslide occurred at a stretch of the National Highway 123, between Damta and Saarigarh in Uttarkashi district.

Police said the route was reopened after Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel cleared the road within a couple of hours .

Meanwhile, the Dehradun Meteorological Centre predicted heavy rainfall between May 29-31 in parts of Uttarakhand, especially in the districts where the four pilgrimages are located.

On May 19, heavy rains triggered a landslide in Chamoli district, on a national highwy to the Badrinath shrine.

Landslides and flashfloods are common in the Himalayan state where an estimated 5,000 people – most of them pilgrims – were killed in 2013 when heavy rains triggered a deluge in the Kedarnath valley. The unofficial death toll, however, was pegged around 10,000 as many bodies were never found.

The Chardham Yatra draws lakhs of people from India and Nepal to the holy sites at Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Gangotri and Yamunotri are glaciers from where the Ganga and Yamuna rivers originate.

First Published: May 26, 2017 20:24 IST