The Uttarakhand government on Monday announced that the Kedarnath Yatra has been halted after heavy rains lashed the state, prompting an orange alert. Due to rough weather conditions, the pilgrims walking their way up to the Kedarnath shrine were stopped and asked to return to their hotels. Helicopter services have also been discontinued as of now.
“After the orange alert and incessant rain since morning, we have stopped devotees on foot and have been urging them to return to their hotels… Do not hike to the temple for now and stay safe,” news agency ANI quoted Rudraprayag CO Pramod Kumar as saying. “An orange alert is on for tomorrow as well. We have stopped around 5,000 people from Guptkashi. Heli services are also closed for now,” Kumar added.
According to the weather department, an extra-tropical weather system approaching from north Pakistan led to formation of rain-bearing clouds that brought showers to parts of Uttarakhand, along with Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh early on Monday. Several places in Uttarakhand also experienced thunderstorms.