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6 killed in landslides as heavy rains lash Uttarakhand

Landslides triggered by heavy rains killed six people, including an infant, in Uttarakhand on Monday which also saw two buildings being swept away by the flooded Chuflagad river and roads to the Himalayan shrines blocked by landslip debris.

Debris of landslides fell over three houses in Banjbagad, Aligaon and Lankhi villages in Ghat area of Chamoli district early on Monday, burying alive six people, including a woman and her nine-month-old daughter, the state emergency operation centre (SEOC) said in Dehradun.

All of them suffocated to death, it said, adding all the deceased except one were women.

While Rupa Devi and her daughter Chanda were killed in Banjbagad village, 21-year-old Naurati Devi was killed in Aligaon and three others in Lankhi village, it said.

Those killed in Lankhi village were identified as Kumari Arti, Kumari Anjali and Ajay, the SEOC said.

Heavy rains also claimed the lives of half a dozen livestock and around 40 goats in the district, it said.

Erosion caused by the swirling waters of the flooded Chuflagad river in Chamoli swept away two buildings from the Ghat bazaar area, the SEOC added.

Housing residential accommodations as well as shops, the buildings adjacent to each other fell like a pack of cards and merged with the river within seconds.

However, there was no casualty in the incident as the buildings had been vacated by their occupants in apprehension, District Disaster Management Officer N K Joshi said.

Boulders falling from hillsides due to landslips blocked the national highway to Badrinath at Pagalnala, Tagdi, Bajpur and Lambagad in Chamoli district, the SEOC said.

The Rishikesh-Kedarnath highway was blocked by landslide debris at Baswad Jamun Nursery in Rudraprayag district and the Gangotri highway near Agrakhal in Tehri district.

Apart from these, 95 rural roads in Dehradun, Chamoli, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Pauri, Champawat, Bageshwar, Nainital and Pithoragarh districts were also blocked.

Most places in the state were lashed by heavy rains. Dehradun received the maximum of 101.6 mm rainfall, followed by Kapkpot in Bageshwar and Berinag in Pithoragarh districts, both of which received 90 mm rains.

Majority of rivers in the state are in spate, including the Ganga in Haridwar and Kali in Pithoragarh district, which are flowing just a few notches below the danger mark.