Uttarakhand rains: Death toll rises to 68; 12 trekkers found dead


Guwahati: Amidst massive rescue efforts in Uttarakhand following a bout of extreme weather earlier this week, the death count on Friday rose to 68, PTI reported. Rescue operations are on to find the missing members of two trekking groups in Harsil and near Lamkhaga Pass.

“The bodies of seven trekkers have been recovered. Two have been rescued and two remain missing out of a group of 11 trekkers which had gone missing in Harsil. Five more bodies of trekkers from another group of 11 trekkers which went missing near Lamkhaga Pass have also been retrieved,” Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar told ANI.

Heavy rains battered Uttarakhand for nearly three days, beginning Sunday night, leading to floods, landslides, and massive destruction of property especially in the hills of Kumaon. The rains have since subsided. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted dry weather across the state on Saturday. 

The State Disaster Response Force was able to rescue 65 trekkers, including six foreigners, stranded near Bageshwar’s Pindari and Kafni glaciers. Another 23 were also rescued rom from Darma Valley of Pithoragarh.  

“SDRF teams have rescued 42 tourists, including six foreigners, from Dwali near the Pindari glacier and 23 from the Kafni glacier,” Bageshwar DM Vineet Kumar told PTI.

Apart from the two other members of the Chitkul trek who were reported dead, the state’s death toll also does not include five people feared dead in Bageshwar. 

The aggressive showers resulted in losses worth Rs 2,000 crore in the Kumaon region, Divisional Commissioner Sushil Kumar told PTI. 

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had said on Thursday that the incessant rains in Uttarakhand caused damages worth Rs 7,000 crore across the state.

“Kumaon division bore the brunt of the unseasonal spell of rains which damaged crops and property worth Rs 2,000 crore besides accounting for the highest number of deaths and large scale destruction of houses,” the Kumaon Divisional Commissioner said.

Two more members of the 11-person trekking team which had gone missing were found dead on Friday. Two members of the team had been rescued alive on Thursday. They are injured and being treated in Harsil and Uttarkashi, an official said. They had gone missing on a trek to Chitkul in Himachal Pradesh via Harsil in Uttarkashi.


Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday visited Dungri village in Chamoli district to meet the disaster-hit people who lost their kin in the landslides triggered by heavy rains in the state.

He was accompanied by ourism Minister Satpal Maharaj, State Disaster Management Minister Dhan Singh Rawat and other officials. Dhami traversed up the slippery terrain with  a stick in hand for support to do an on-the-spot assessment of the losses.

“The affected families will get all support from the government. They have lost their kin and have little children. We will ensure that they are given good care,” Dhami told reporters during a visit to the village.

All-terrain vehicles, captive elephants and drone cameras are being used in the tourist zones of the Corbett Tiger Reserve and other forest roads in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand for the safety of wildlife.

Of the 101.57 km of roads built this month for the next tourist season in the Bijrani and Garjia zones of the tiger reserve, 87.57 km has been washed away in the three-day spell of heavy rains in Uttarakhand, deputy director of the park Kalyani Negi said.

(With PTI inputs)