Uttarakhand has been taken over by extreme floods causing the death of more than 207 individuals in the country of India. About 9000 people have been stranded in Kedarnath and Badrinath as rescue workers scrambled to provide shelter for them.
50,0000 people in Uttarakhan were stranded through the inaccessible parts of the region. “So far, 207 people have lost their lives. But the toll may go up as debris in many areas is yet to be cleared,” said Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
“40 bodies have been recovered from different points along the Ganga since last evening and taken to the district hospital where each of them is being given a number and an identification tag,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Haridwar Rajeev Swaroop.
Satellite phones have been delivered to allow those stranded in the region to communicate with loved ones and family members. Many agencies have been on call providing relief and other forms of support for the distraught people in isolated areas of the state. The floods have truly taken Uttarakhan and stranded residents decimating homes.
“The weather today was like yesterday. It was not as good as we expected…it is likely to stabilize. But we expect 3 to 4cm or rain,” said Air Marshall S B Deo, IAF’s Chief of Air Operations.
Many officials suggested politicians and other state representatives be advised to stay away from the area and let rescue operations commence. Area representatives disregarded any such advisements and conducted survey expeditions in various flood regions of the state. “I am acquainted with this region for long as I have worked here and because of that I could make out a lot through the aerial survey the scale of the tragedy, the lives of the pilgrims lost and their sufferings,” said Narendra Modi Gujarat’s chief minister.
The region had been under the authority of a multi agency jurisdiction since initial flooding in the area and state officials have been concerned with casualty rates within specific areas of the region in relation to their perspective jurisdictions. Multi agency participants included; The personnel of the Army, Air Force, ITBP, BRO and NDRF.
“An area of major concern in the coming times is the local residents of Uttarakhand who have come out in a big way to help visiting and stranded pilgrims. On behalf of all pilgrims, I thank the residents Of Uttarakhand who without thinking about whether there is food available to them and their families came out to offer all they had to pilgrims. I am grateful and acknowledge their love and affection showered on the flood victims in this hour of crisis,” said Modi.
Political official continue to bicker over the decision to assess damages as a national calamity for the area. The many ministers have held consultations to determine the most effective plan of action. Some politicians do not see the relevancy in assigning such a label to the disaster but it remains to be an issue among officials. The flooding has truly taken Uttarakhand and residents are stranded facing the natural elements among a political tormoiltous landscape.
By Thomas Barr