Uttarakhand rain, weather update: At least 17 dead in Uttarkashi cloudburst, IMD predicts heavy downpour to continue today

Uttarakhand rains: As many as 18 people had gone missing after 20 houses were washed away in cloudbursts in Uttarkashi district. Uttarkashi Disaster Management Officer Devendra Patwal told news agency PTI that a number of people from the rain-hit villages were still missing. SA Murugesan, Secretary (Incharge) of Disaster Management, confirmed on Monday that 17 people had been killed in the cloudburst in Uttarkashi. The river Tons has been running above its danger mark following heavy rainfall in Uttarkashi. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places in the region on Monday. As a precautionary measure, the administration has declared a holiday in government schools and Anganwadis in nine of the 13 districts. On Sunday morning, nearly 20 houses and several hectares of agricultural land were washed away in six villages of Uttarkashi. The villages are located in the Mori block of the state, which borders Himachal Pradesh. Rescue operations are still on as the disaster management teams were hampered due to the torrential downpour on Sunday. Relief camps have been set up and people in vulnerable or trapped areas are being moved to safer zones. Rains caused devastation in the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh too where at least 22 people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents. PTI reports that nine people have died in Shimla, five in Solan, two each in Kullu, Sirmaur, Chamba and Solan and one each in Una and Lahaul-Spiti districts. All educational institutes in Shimla and Kullu have declared a holiday on Monday. Lahaul-Spiti is witnessing unprecedented snowfall and the temperatures have dropped to 0.1-degree celsius. Over 400 tourists are stranded across the state due to the unseasonal snowfall.