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Pithoragarh cloudburst toll rises to 21

Last updated on: August 09, 2009 

Pithoragarh cloudburst toll rises to 21

Six more bodies were recovered from the debris on Sunday, taking the toll in the cloudburst that triggered a massive landslide in three villages of Pithoragarh district to 21.

"We have so far recovered 21 bodies from under the debris," District Magistrate of Pithoragarh Naryan Singh Negi said.

He said search operation by personnel of district administration, ITBP and SSB are in full swing to find out another 22 missing people from villages of Lah, Jhakla and Bedu Mehar of Munsyari tehsil that were badly hit by the landslides.

However, chances of survival of those, who are still trapped in debris are bleak, Negi said, adding some of the bodies were recovered at 10 km distance from the place where the tragedy struck.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank, who visited the affected areas, has announced an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh to each of the next of kin of the deceased.

He also asked the District Magistrate to immediately identify the landslides-prone areas and evacuate the people to safer areas.

Image: Rescue operations are on at Pithoragarh