163 people rescued from flooded areas in Uttarakhand, Himachal


New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) A total of 163 people
were rescued Tuesday from flood-affected areas
caused by torrential rains in Uttarakhand and
Himachal Pradesh, disaster management officials
said.
While 71 people were rescued in Uttarakhand, National Disaster Management Authority's
(NDMA) teams rescued 86 people in Haryana and
five in Uttar Pradesh, an NDMA official said.
Twenty-six teams of the National Disaster
Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in
Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal and Assam for relief
operations, said the NDMA.
"The weather was better today (Tuesday). 10
Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters were pressed
into rescue operations to evacuate stranded
pilgrims in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. We are likely to get more private choppers for
the rescue operations based on the weather
conditions," NDMA vice president M. Shashidhar
Reddy told IANS.
He added that NDRF officials would be setting up
a base camp in Gaurikund, 14 km from Kedarnath in Uttarakhand.
"Over 50,000 pilgrims are stranded in
Uttarakhand. We are making all efforts to
continuously enhance the operations to rescue
as many people as we can," said Shashidhar
Reddy. The rains, which began Saturday night, lashed
Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh for the fourth
consecutive day Tuesday, taking the death toll to
58 and leaving over 58,000 stranded.
While 40 people perished in the torrential
downpour in Uttarakhand, 18 others died in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
The met department predicted more rains over
the next two days in northern India.
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra has been stopped
for now.

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