A period of heavy rain in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, has left at least 30 people dead and several houses destroyed or washed away, according to local media reports.
The affected areas are currently the districts of Chamoli and Pithoragarh. River levels have increased dramatically and local media report that the Alaknanda River and a tributary, the Mandakini, have both overflowed.
Indian Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, said that he had spoke to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat regarding the situation and that central government is providing all possible assistance. He added that “National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been rushed to the areas affected by cloud burst in Uttarakhand. Additional teams of NDRF are also put on alert.”
The Indian Home Minister also offered his condolences to the families of the victims. He said:
“I am deeply pained at loss of precious lives in Uttarakhand due to flash floods. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.”
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat has announced a compensation of 2 lakh rupees for the families of the deceased.
Teams from the Indian Army are also in place, carrying out search and rescue operations.
2013 Flood Disaster
The state experienced one of the worst flood disasters in history in June 2013, where over 1,000 people died and towns and villages were completely destroyed. The recent severe weather could be the first big test of Uttarakhand’s disaster management and preparedness since the 2013 floods. Have the lessons of 2013 been learnt?
Rainfall Figures and Warnings
India Meteorological Department (IMD) have forecast further “heavy to very heavy” rain for the next 3 days at least, with the worst expected on 02 July, prompting IMD to issue an orange (mid level) alert.
IMD say that parts of Uttarakhand have seen heavy rainfall since 25 June 2016, with several locations reporting levels of 40 mm or more in a 24 hour period. IMD recent rainfall totals for Uttarakhand below:
- Ramnagar – 40 mm
- Nainital – 40 mm
- Banbasa – 30 mm
- Kapkot – 30 mm
- Karnaprayag – 60 mm
- Chaukhutia – 60 mm
- Dwarhat – 50 mm
- Ukhimath – 80 mm
- Jakholi – 70 mm
- Uttarkashi – 60 mm
- Dharchula – 50 mm
- Barkot – 70 mm
- Ukhimath – 70 mm
- Chamoli – 60 mm
- Munsiyari – 40 mm
- Dharchula – 50 mm
- Didihat – 40 mm
- Chamoli – 30 mm
Note: IMD’s weekly weather figures are rounded up/down and given in centimetres. For the purpose of consistency, figures here are in millimetres
— India Today (@IndiaToday) July 1, 2016
I am grieved by the loss of lives caused due to cloudburst & heavy rain in parts of Uttarakhand. Condolences to bereaved families: PM
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 1, 2016
— DPR (@SpokespersonMoD) July 2, 2016