Over 6,000 people are feared to have been killed in the devastating floods, cloudbursts and landslides in Uttarakhand in June, government said today.
'The scale and magnitude of the extreme event was such that more than 580 persons are confirmed to have lost their lives. Besides, another 5,474 persons who are still missing and feared to be no more,' Defence Minister A K Antony said in a statement in Lok Sabha.
Maintaining that the disaster was of 'unprecedented magnitude', he said 1.1 lakh people were evacuated to safe places in the 'shortest possible time, notwithstanding widespread destruction of roads, difficult terrain and extremely hostile weather.'
This is the first time that the Centre has come out with the toll in the large-scale devastation.
Detailing the response measures taken by the state government, the Centre, armed and paramilitary forces, Antony said the IAF rescued 23,775 persons, the army 38,750 and the ITBP 33,000 from the affected areas.
While the Prime Minister announced assistance of Rs 1,000 crore during his visit to Uttarakhand on June 19, Centre has released Rs 400 crore for immediate relief and restoration measures, he said.
A Cabinet Committee, headed by the Prime Minister, was set up to provide guidelines for expeditious reconstruction and
rehabilitation measures. An Inter-Ministerial Group has also been established to draw up a time-bound action plan.
As Antony read out the statement, BJP members were on their feet shouting that no funds had yet reached the state, while MPs of Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress sought a discussion on the issue.