For the last one week, Uttarakhand has received heavy rainfall in several parts of the state. The hilly areas in the state have witnessed incidents like cloudbursts and landslides.  The state disaster management authority has already issued notice to all the District Magistrates in the mountain state to take precautionary measures in order to avoid unwanted incidents. Apart from IMD, various other agencies have also sounded an alert for flash floods, torrential rainfall in Uttarakhand, Himachal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

These incessant rains have further resulted in the overflowing of rivers in the state. At Haridwar and Rishikesh, Ganga is flowing very close to its danger mark. At Srinagar, river Alaknanda is reported to be flowing near its danger mark too. Several strategic and national highways in the state have been closed temporarily due to landslides and caving in of roads.

On 17 August, Badrinath highway was reported to be blocked at several places. Earlier, Gangotri national highway was also blocked temporarily due to landslide incidents. Dehradun-Mussoorie highway also got caved in, resulting in a long traffic jam on the highway. 32 roads got blocked in the Chamoli district due to heavy rainfalls last week.

So far, more than 45 people have died due to rain-related incidents in the hill state.  State Disaster Respond Authority has carried out more than 61 operations in the fragile state.

In his conversation with media, Bikram Singh, Director, Regional Meteorological Department, Dehradun has said that the heavy rains in the hills are very crucial and even 55 mm to 60 mm hourly rainfall can cause massive damage. It was also revealed that the state has already received more than normal rains in recent months.  The state has received 655 mm of rainfall from June to 12 August.

Due to harsh weather conditions, carrying out relief operations in the hilly and remote areas of the state is becoming difficult for government agencies. CM Trivendra Singh Rawat also called out that most of the disaster management guidelines are made keeping in mind the plain areas. Every natural calamity becomes difficult to tackle in the mountainous area, said Rawat.

National Disaster Management Authority has said that if the land is provided by the state government, shelters would be built which will help to provide relief to communities affected by disasters in the state.

Coming few days will be tough for the hill state, as IMD warnings for harsh weather remain in place for the next 48 to 72 hours.

(By: Gautam Kumar)

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