In a tragic incident, a powerful landslide occurred in the Pithoragarh region of Uttarakhand, leaving over 300 people stranded, including pilgrims who were en route to their religious destinations. The landslide, triggered by heavy rains, struck the Lipulekh-Tawaghat road in Lakhanpur, washing away a significant 100-meter section and severing access to the towns of Dharchula and Gunji. The devastating natural disaster has caused widespread disruption in the region, with several rivers overflowing and flooding exacerbating the situation.
The district administration reported that the landslide has trapped approximately 300 individuals in Dharchula and Gunji, among them devotees who were on their way to Yamunotri and Gangotri Dham. Responding swiftly to the crisis, the authorities have arranged temporary shelters for the stranded pilgrims and ensured their basic needs of food and water are being met. News agency ANI quoted the district administration, stating, "About 300 people are trapped in Dharchula and Gunji due to the Lipulekh-Tawaghat motor road, which has been washed away 100 meters following the landslide near Lakhanpur, approximately 45 km above Dharchula."
Efforts are underway to clear the landslide debris and reopen the crucial road, but the process is expected to take several days due to the extensive damage caused. In the meantime, the meteorological department has issued a warning for dust storms and thundershowers in several districts of Uttarakhand, including Almora, Bageshwar, Chamoli, Champawat, Dehradun, Garhwal, Hardwar, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, Tehri Garhwal, Udham Singh Nagar, and Uttarkashi.
Authorities have cautioned pilgrims planning to embark on the Yamunotri and Gangotri Dham Yatra to carefully monitor weather forecasts and make adequate preparations for their journeys. As part of measures to safeguard the comfort and safety of the devotees, they are advised to carry rain covers, umbrellas, and warm clothing. The police have emphasized the importance of staying at secure locations, avoiding unnecessary travel, and parking vehicles in safe areas. The authorities are working diligently to ensure the well-being and timely rescue of all those affected by the landslide.
The landslide in Uttarakhand serves as a reminder of the region's vulnerability to natural disasters during the monsoon season. Efforts are ongoing to improve infrastructure and disaster management capabilities in order to mitigate the impact of such events. The government and concerned agencies are committed to providing assistance and support to those affected, and they are working tirelessly to restore normalcy in the affected areas.
As the rescue and recovery operations continue, it is crucial for individuals and communities in Uttarakhand to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety in the face of unpredictable weather conditions. The unity and collective efforts of the authorities, local communities, and citizens are paramount in overcoming the challenges posed by this devastating landslide and its aftermath.