Three days of incessant rains have left a trail of death and destruction in the state killing 52 people, damaging roads, bridges and railway tracks without damaging the unproductive harvest.
Six more bodies were found Wednesday in Uttarakhand flood, killing 52 people in the Himalayan state, while Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, and areas north of Bengal were also hit by heavy rains that caused landslides that led to the closure of the National Park. Highway 10, the main road connecting Gangtok with the rest of the country.
In Uttarakhand, 17 people were injured and five went missing in rain-related incidents. The official number of missing persons does not include a crew of 11, who left Uttarkashi but did not arrive at their destination in Chitkul in Himachal Pradesh, and three missing delegates escorting ITBP patrol along the India-China border.
Kumaon district in the state, which has been badly affected by the rain, has also reported 46 cases of house damage. With 28 deaths, Nainital alone has the highest death toll.
The weather cleared accross Uttarakhand on Wednesday, giving impetus to aid operations and leading to the slow re-launch of Chadham Yatra, with pilgrims allowed to continue to Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri. However, the yatra to Badrinath cannot be resumed as the national highway to the temple is blocked by landslides in many places.
The waters receded from the streets of Nainital, which had been cut off from the rest of the province on Monday, when the Naini lake flooded the streets and the landslide congested them. Life returned to normal in Nainital on Wednesday morning as tourists were found shopping and traveling in the city.
Electric and telephone connections had been badly damaged in Nainital due to incessant rains. Villages on the outskirts of the city still go without electricity and telephones. Haldwani and Kaladhungi roads have been opened in part to restore communication to Nainital.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said it had rescued more than 1 300 people from flood-affected areas in Uttarakhand. The United Nations has deployed 17 rescue teams in the province.
Normal life in the northern parts of Bengal was affected by heavy rains in the Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri districts which caused landslides, causing damage to roads and bridges, halting or stopping traffic in various places.
As the rain continued, a cusec waster was released from Bengal’s Gajaoldoba Teesta Barrage, which caused flooding in several parts of the low-lying town of Jalpaiguri. Water from the Testa flooded and soaked National Highway 10 connecting Siliguri with the Sikkim capital Gangtok in the Teesta Bazar area, blocking traffic.
The Department of Environment has issued a ‘red’ warning for Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Alipurduar, predicting “heavy rainfall in one or two areas” in these regions by Thursday morning. Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar are likely to receive heavy rainfall until then.
Several low-lying areas in the Jalpaiguri region are flooded due to rising water levels in the Teesta and Jaldhaka rivers. People from these areas were being evacuated to safer areas.