State Affairs

At least 28 feared killed as two landslides hit Pithoragarh

PITHORAGARH: Six people died and 22 others – including seven Army personnel – were feared killed as two landslides hit Uttarakhand’s border district of Pithoragarh on Monday morning.

The landslides were caused by a cloudburst the previous night, officials said,reports Hindustan Times.

District disaster mitigation official NS Rana said two soldiers and five junior commissioned officers went missing after a landslide occurred near Mangti Nallah, a monsoon rivulet, in the first incident. Two bridges were also damaged in the area. Seven porters are also feared swept away in the gushing waters of the rivulet.

“Six bodies have been recovered so far” Pithoragarh district magistrate C Ravi Shankar told.

Fourteen people went missing after another landslide hit Malpa on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route. The pilgrimage has been halted temporarily as Simkhola bridge has been damaged and a road blocked at Ailagad. The Kali river is reportedly flowing at a dangerously high level.

Members of the National Disaster Response Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Army and local departments have been pressed into service for rescue operations. Officials said more people could still be trapped under the debris of damaged structures.

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and finance minister Prakash Pant left for the affected areas but could not land due to incessant rains. Rawat later told reporters “government was awaiting for more details to get the exact figure of the casualties”.

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