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Landslide in Uttarakhand leaves several tourists stranded

Landslide in Uttarakhand leaves several tourists stranded

Landslides and flashfloods are common in the Himalayan state where an estimated 5,000 people - majority pilgrims - were killed in 2013 when heavy rains triggered a deluge in the Kedarnath valley.

President Pranab Mukherjee had visited the Badrinath shrine, the last Char Dham shrine to be opened this year, on 6 May. Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and other authorities are working on clearing debris and route will be open on. Government authorities are now busy in providing food and lodging to stranded pilgrims.

The local administration said huge boulders rolled down Hathi Parvat onto the Joshimath-Badrinath highway, bringing traffic to a halt.

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No casualties were reported in a massive landslide on the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway (NH-7), thanks to an alert police constable of Uttarakhand Police.

"While about 11,000 pilgrims have been stationed at Badrinath shrine area that has the capacity to accommodate 80,000 pilgrims, almost 1200 were taken to safe places at Govindghat area and 450 pilgrims". The situation is completely under the control of the government.

He also said efforts are on to provide all facilities to 1,000-1,500 pilgrims who are at Joshimath, Karnaprayag, Pipalkoti, Govindghat and Badrinath. At least 15,000 tourists are stranded due to landslide. However, it has been learnt that pilgrims from Telangana who had set out for Char Dham yatra to Uttarakhand are safe, officials at Telangana Bhavan in Delhi said. Officially, however, the number was fixed at 5,000 as many bodies were lost in the deluge.

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