Dehradun, July 18: The Yamunotri-leg of the annual Char Dham pilgrimage has been halted due to heavy rains that continue to batter many parts of Uttarakhand for the last three days, an official said on Wednesday.
The Met has predicted more showers in the next 48-hours till Friday. The district authorities have been directed to shift people from river banks to safer places as massive rainfall from Friday onwards is expected.
A cloud burst near Yamunotri — one of the four holy shrines of the annual Chaar Dhaam Yatra was being halted for the time being, an official told IANS.
The authorities have, however, ruled out the cloud burst and said the damage has been caused by severe rain and landslides in the area.
Two pedestrian bridges connecting the road to the Yamunotri temple have been washed away while the Kali Kamli Dharmsala and some nearby shops have been inundated with water and sludge, he added.
No loss of life has, however, been reported so far. Some rooms around the hot water spring or the ‘tapt kund’ have been damaged in the cloud burst and the subsequent rain.
District Magistrate of Uttarkashi Ashish Chauhan said the main temple is safe. Around five dozen people, comprising mainly of pilgrims and the priests have been shifted to safer places at Janki Chatti.
The National Disaster Response Force, district police, administration and State Disaster Response Force officials have been rushed to the area.
Yamunotri has witnessed similar cloud bursts in 2004, 2007 and 2013 in which many lives were lost.