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12 Missing After Flash Floods Hit India’s Uttarakhand

At least 12 people have gone missing after a flash flood triggering landslide hit India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, officials said Friday.

According to officials, several shops were swept away on Thursday night near Gaurikund in Rudraprayag district, about 245 km northeast of Dehradun, the capital city of Uttarakhand.

“Last night we got information that three shops were affected because of falling rocks and heavy rainfall near Gaurikund. Our teams immediately reached the spot to carry out rescue efforts despite facing several difficulties,” Dalip Singh Rajwar, a disaster management officer, said. “We were unable to locate anyone, and it is said that around 12 people were there but so far they have not been traced.”

Officials said mounds of earth and boulders fell from the nearby hill because of the heavy rains and swept the shops below.

The search operation is underway in the area as rescuers from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel are trying hard to locate the missing.

“District administration, disaster management, police, SDRF, NDRF and other teams are present on the spot. The operation is on to search for the missing people,” a statement issued by police said.

Reports said heavy rains and boulders falling intermittently from the hillside in the area were hampering the search operation.