Kedarnath turns into a ghost town
Monsoon’s fury gushed into Kedarnath town from the summit behind the famous temple, carrying rocks and boulders, destroying everything on its path. Three days of incessant rain washed down a whole state and turned a holy pilgrimage centre into nothing short of a ghost town.
When clouds burst over the sacred mountains,
even gods could not protect them. In the elemental fury of water and falling
hills, the dead multiplied on ravaged terrains and the living struggled in vain
to reach the far shores of survival. In one of its worst monsoons, the state of
Uttarakhand became a watery graveyard for hundreds and a monumental reminder of
how nature's rage can be compounded by man's callousness. The day after on
Ground Zero said it all.
Rotting corpses contaminating water sources and poor sanitation could lead to a serious outbreak of diseases such as cholera and dysentery. With many bodies still buried under 5-10 feet high mounds of debris in the Kedarnath Valley area, the threat of an epidemic due to decaying corpses looms large.
The floods and landslides have been dubbed a "Himalayan tsunami" due to the torrents of water unleashed in the hilly region, which sent mud crashing down, burying homes and other buildings.
Hindu devotees return after taking a holy dip at Sangam as the water level of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers rises in Allahabad on June 19, 2013. Military helicopters dropped emergency supplies June 19... more
Hindu devotees return after taking a holy dip at Sangam as the water level of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers rises in Allahabad on June 19, 2013. Military helicopters dropped emergency supplies June 19 to thousands of tourists and pilgrims stranded by flash floods that tore through towns and temples in northern India, killing at least 138 people, officials said. The monsoon, which covers the subcontinent from June to September, usually brings some flooding but the heavy rains arrived early this year. AFP PHOTO / SANJAY KANOJIA less
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Getty Images | Photo by STR / AFP
Thu 20 Jun, 2013 3:30 PM IST
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