Home / News / India /  Uttarakhand flashflood: 1 dead, houses inundated with sludge in Pithoragarh

A 63-year old woman lost her life and 28 houses were left inundated in Khotila village in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district due to a flash flood in the Kali river in the early hours of Saturday. The flashflood was caused by a cloudburst that occurred near the India-Nepal border at around 1 AM.

The village is located near Dharchula town in Pithoragarh district.

The body of Pashupati Devi, a resident of Khotila village, was later pulled out of the sludge that had choked her house after the flooding of the river by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) during the rescue and relief operation. According to officials she died because she did not get the time to unbolt the door of her home and run to safety

Pithoragarh's District Magistrate Ashish Chauhan said the cloudburst occurred in Bangabagar village across the India-Nepal border.

He added that the cloudburst lead to a rapid increase of water in the Kali river channel which then gushed into 36 houses in Khotila, a village on the Indian side of the border. The affected area on the Nepal side received 132.2 mm of rain.

Chauhan later informed that the 170 affected people of the village have been evacuated and put up in makeshift shelters built at Dharchula stadium.

District Disaster Management Officer of Pithoragarh, Bhupendra Singh Mahar informed some animals belonging to the villagers have also been lost.

Mahar said that the administration of the border town of Dharchula with the help of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and police personnel in conducting the rescue operation. The extent of the losses will be known after some time, he added.

Earlier on Saturday, Uttarakhand's Fire Service Police tweeted the video of Kali river's gushing water that lead to the collapse of a building. The tweet mentioned about the natural disaster at Khotila village and the ongoing rescue operation.

The hill state has become more risk prone in recent past

The frequency of cloudbursts leading to landslides and flasfloods have increased in the hill state of Uttarakhand, raising questions and concerns about climate change.

Being a mountainous region, the drainage of the state is highly volatile, which when combined with seasonal distortions in rainfall leads to devastating calamities.

The flash floods of 2013 that ravaged the pilgrimage site of Kedarnath in Uttarakhand had raised a lot of issues regarding settlement planning and river drainage across the Himalayan slopes of Uttarakhand, but little has been done since to mitigate such disasters.

 

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