Two persons were killed and as many swept away by swirling waters of rivers as rains lashed different parts of Uttarakhand for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday, keeping roads to Himalayan shrines blocked at nearly six places and cutting off many villages.
A woman was buried alive last evening under rubble brought over by a landslide in Ukhimath in Rudraparayag district while an old man was killed as a cowshed collapsed at Lohaghat in Champavat district, Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre here said.
Two persons were swept away by the strong currents of two different rivers at Rikhnikhal in Garhwal and at Sultanpatti in Kumaon region, according to a release issued by the Disaster Management authority.
Intermittent rains in most districts have brought mud and slush on to the highways leading to the chardhams, prompting authorities to ask devotees bound for Badrinath to stay put in Joshimath and those for Kedarnath to remain in Sonprayag till the weather improves and the yatra is officially resumed.
With Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri highways blocked at nearly half a dozen places many villages of Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts remain cut off, it said.
Devotees headed for Gaumukh in Uttarkashi district are not being allowed to go beyond Gangotri as heavy rains in the higher reaches could trigger landslips along the trek route to the point where the Ganga originates, Uttarkashi District Magistrate S Ravishankar said.
All the major rivers across the state including Ganga, Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Mandakini, Kali, Saryu and Sharda are in spate but still flowing below the danger mark.
However, people living close to the banks of these rivers have been asked to evacuate to safer places as a precautionary measure.
Gola, Nandaur and Kosi rivers in Kumaon region are also on the rise with incessant rains prompting authorities to ask people living in their catchment areas to evacuate to safer places.
The MeT department has predicted light to moderate rain at many places in Uttarakhand and rather heavy rainfall at a few places especially in Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Nainital, Almora and Pauri districts today.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.