Uttarakhand Chardham Yatra Suspended Amidst Heavy Rain Warning

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning for heavy rains in Uttarakhand on Sunday, July 7. The warning, equivalent to a red alert, has prompted authorities to temporarily suspend the Chardham yatra for the safety of pilgrims. The weather agency has forecasted heavy to very heavy precipitation in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand today and tomorrow.

Garhwal Commissioner Vinay Shankar Pandey announced the postponement of the yatra, stating, “In view of the weather department’s prediction of heavy rains in Garhwal division on July 7-8, all devotees are urged not to start for the Chardham yatra beyond Rishikesh on July 7.” He advised pilgrims to wait wherever they are until the weather clears before resuming their journey.

Over the past few days, heavy showers have triggered landslides in the hills of Uttarakhand, causing disruptions. The highway leading to Badrinath has been blocked at several points due to debris falling from the hills. IMD has stated, “Heavy (64.5-115.5 mm) to very heavy rainfall (115.5-204.4 mm) with extremely heavy rainfall ( > 204.4 mm) is very likely at isolated places over Uttarakhand on .. 07th July.”

The relentless downpour has also resulted in tragic incidents. On Saturday, two pilgrims on a motorcycle were killed after being struck by rubble falling from a hillside while returning from a pilgrimage site. The accident occurred near the Chatwapeepal area of Karnaprayag in Chamoli district.

A bridge collapsed in Uttarakhand’s Ramnagar on the same day due to incessant rain, disrupting daily life. The heavy rains have caused flooding, inundation, water logging, house damage, road submersion, tree uprooting, and other damages. Adding to the adverse conditions, rivers in Uttarakhand are flowing near the danger mark at Vishnu Prayag near Joshimath.

On Sunday, the wall of a house in Uttarakhand’s Almora district collapsed due to heavy rains, causing rainwater to enter the house in Golna Kararia. State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) officials reported that the wall broke down around 1:00 AM.

In light of the IMD’s heavy rainfall warning in nine districts, District Magistrates of all concerned districts have been instructed to remain vigilant and on high alert. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has appealed to the people of the state to be cautious and move to safe places. He has also instructed Secretary Disaster Management and Rehabilitation Vinod Kumar Suman and other officers associated with the Disaster Management Department to maintain constant vigil. (With PTI and ANI inputs)

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