Fresh cloudbursts kill 8 more in Uttarakhand villages

Eight more persons, among them a sant, were killed and a sadhvi went missing after another bout of cloudbursts in three remote villages of Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand on Sunday.

This took the number of those killed over the past few days in flash floods and landslips to 46. About 25 more people are still feared buried under debris.

Five persons, including three women, were killed as a flash flood and hillside debris hit village Kiroda around 2.30 am, as one house was completely devastated and agricultural fields destroyed.

In Dugar Shemla and Simbal villages two persons were killed and five injured after a cloudburst that caused flash floods and rockslides around 7.00 a.m. Seven houses were shattered on being struck by rocks, the State Disaster Management and Mitigation Centre here said.

Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, revenue and police personnel, besides members of the public are carrying out rescue and relief operations.

On Sunday Agriculture Minister Harak Singh Rawat visited the affected areas to take stock of the situation.

Leader of the Opposition Ajay Bhatt, too, visited the affected villages and asked the government to announce an ex gratia of Rs. 10 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed and compensation for those who had lost land, houses or cattle.

Expressing anguish, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna directed the District Magistrate to ensure immediate medical, food and financial assistance to the victims.

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