Dehradun, (Hindustan Times): Twenty-seven people have died in separate incidents of landslide, cloudburst and flood in ecologically fragile Uttarakhand in the past 24 hours as heavy monsoon rain continues to lash the state, according to the disaster management control room.
Fourteen deaths due to cloudbursts at four places were reported in Pauri district on Friday. Seven people were killed after heavy rain triggered a landslide in Dehradun’s Rajpur area in the wee hours of Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the state, where a mid-June deluge had wreaked havoc and killed more than five thousand people including pilgrims last year.
According to the Pauri district administration, several people are stranded in Kotdwar block due to floods. A rescue operation is underway, even as the weather department forecast heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours.
Rescue forces including local police and teams of Indo-Tibetian Border Police and National Disaster Response Force have been deployed at affected places in different parts of the state.
This monsoon, 57 people have died in Uttarakhand between June 1 and August 16 afternoon.
The state’s economy, which is largely dependent on the tourism sector, had suffered a huge loss last year following the mid-June disaster that left the hill state in tatters. Rehabilitation and relief work emerged as the key issues in Uttarakhand in the run-up to the April-May Lok Sabha elections.
Rampant and unplanned construction of human settlement and industry is viewed as one of the prime reasons behind the rain-related incidents in Uttarakhand.
Seven people from three families died in the wee hours of Saturday in Dehradun following a landslide triggered by the incessant rain. Their houses were built on precarious slopes of a hillock and flattened under the debris.