Dehradun | Jagran News Desk: At least three people lost their lives while several others went missing after three houses collapsed on Sunday night at the Jumma village in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh due to heavy rains in the district, said Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, adding that he has asked the district magistrate (DM) to intensify the rescue operations.

Local officials have said that two bodies have been discovered so far while five people are feared trapped inside the rubble. They said that a rescue operation is underway while adding that teams of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) have been sent to Pithoragarh.

"We are holding an emergency meeting on how to tackle the situation. More information will be available after the meeting," news agency PTI quoted Pithoragarh DM Ashish Chauhan as saying. "Relief materials are also being sent".

Uttarakhand has been receiving heavy rains, leading to landslides in several districts. Earlier in April, 10 people lost their lives due to an avalanche near Malari in the Niti Valley. Before that, hundreds of people were killed in a glacier burst at Joshimath in Chamoli district.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), meanwhile, had earlier predicted that heavy rains are expected in Uttarakhand till Sunday that might cause landslides and rockfalls at isolated places of the hill state. 

"Fairly widespread to widespread rainfall activity with isolated heavy falls very likely to continue over Uttarakhand during the next 5 days with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls during next 24 hours," the weather department had tweeted while issuing an orange alert for Uttarakhand.

Following the warning, Chief Minister Dhami had conducted an aerial survey of the disaster-hit areas of the state. According to the information received from the Disaster Management Department (DMD), more than 200 roads including five National Highways, 15 State Highways are blocked in the state due to incessant rains and efforts are being made to open them.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma