Landslide blocks highway in northern India, long queues of vehicles stranded

Landslide blocks highway in northern India, long queues of vehicles stranded

Heavy boulders blocked a main Highway in northern India’s Uttarakhand, causing massive vehicle queues on both sides.


The incident took place on the Badrinath Highway at Joshimath in Chamoli district on July 9.

Visuals showed a large section of the mountain broke off and came crashing down, completely blocking the highway. As the debris fell, dust and soil billowed into the air like a balloon, creating a dense cloud that filled the surroundings.


Heavy boulders have blocked the Badrinath National Highway just one kilometer before Joshimath, leading to significant traffic jams on both sides of the road. This incident follows a previous disruption caused by debris from inclement weather, which had halted traffic on the highway for 34 hours before being cleared on Monday evening.


In another related incident, around 2,000 pilgrims trekked approximately eight kilometers on foot to reach Badrinath Dham due to highway blockages at Vishnuprayag and Ghudsil. Given the persistent rainfall across the region, Disaster Management Secretary Vinod Kumar Suman has urged travelers to proceed with caution and adhere to advisories issued by local authorities.


Suman reported continuous rainfall in the Kumaon region, affecting areas like Tanakpur and Khatima with waterlogging. Emergency response teams and officials are on-site to provide relief and assistance. He expressed hope that the heavy rains would subside by tomorrow. While all major roads in the state remain open, some rural roads are still obstructed. The Chardham Yatra, which was paused for a day on July 7, is currently ongoing.


In the wake of heavy rains, 387 roads across the state have been closed, with 62 already reopened. Although river levels have risen in Garhwal Mandal, there is no immediate danger. However, rivers like Kosi and Panar in the Almora region of Kumaon have swelled due to continuous heavy rainfall over the past four days.


Meanwhile, the Rudraprayag-Gaurikund Highway remains closed near the Dolia Temple due to fallen boulders, severely damaging the road and halting traffic in both directions. The National Highways Authority is working to clear the debris with machinery from both sides, but falling stones from the hillsides pose ongoing challenges. Consequently, many locals and travelers are stranded with their vehicles on both sides of the blockage.

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