Uttarakhand floods: Blankets not distributed to pilgrims; death toll unknown, says CM

relief material Uttarakhand_0.jpg

Badrinath: While survivors in Badri­nath sit on the roadside, shivering and braving the rain and cold, waiting for a chopper to take them to safety, thousands of blank­ets and warm clothes, flown in by the Air Force are being stored in the temple town instead of being given to those who need them. 
"It's not distributed am­ong the pilgrims," said army officials in Badrinath.
"We have unloaded kambals, chappals and warm clothing from the Air Force choppers, but why are people still crying for them?" asked senior Army officials at Badrinath, adding, "For the first three days there was no officer of the district administration in sight and even after they arrived they are only receiving the relief material and storing it. If they are not used now, when will they be? Are they waiting for another disaster to happen?" 
Pankaj Pande, nodal officer of the Uttarakhand government in Badrinath, insisted most pilgrims had been provided with everything they need.
Toll may be never known: Uttarakhand CM 

DC Correspondent with agency inputs

New Delhi/Dehradun: The exact number of people dead or washed away in the Uttarakhand floods may never be known, chief minister Vijay Bahuguna said on Sunday, as the blame game over the devastation escalated Sunday with the meteorological department saying it had issued 'timely' warnings of heavy rains and landslides, while the state government claimed they were not 'specific'.
Weather forecast: MeT vs U'khand govt
“We will never know the exact number of those dead and the number of people who have been buried or washed away,” Mr Bahu­g­una said. Assembly Spea­ker Govind Singh Kunjwal had earlier claimed that the number of those killed could well cross the 10,000 mark, but the chief minister said the figure was incorrect. 
“There are 500-600 bodies which are visible, not only in Kedarnath area but in the entire state,” he said.
Assertions by the Met dep­artment and the state government came amid questi­ons whether the state had ig­n­ored warnings at the cost of hundreds of lives. The state government claimed there was no sufficient prior indication of a “crisis of this magnitude”.
Next: Doctors battle to heal flood shock

Doctors battle to heal flood shock

Amit S. Upadhye in Badrinath
A majority of the rescued flood victims in Uttara­kh­and are suffering from a mental illness, according to Army doctors counseling them at different help des­ks where the victims are air dropped. 
The majority of them are complaining of ‘Hyper Startled Responses’ (HSR), a disorder often associated with people who have lived through calamities. 
In such cases, the patients start fearing the slightest sound, connecting it with the disaster they just escaped from. “An HSR syndrome-hit person panics at unfamiliar sounds. There are many who have seen death at a close range. They have also waited for a long time to be evacuated. The victims who were pick­ed from Kedarnath and Gow­ri areas have higher levels of HSR,” said Major N.M. Yogesh, an army doctor. 
“Such patients need increased interaction with their family. Asking them to narrate their experien­ces might delay their recovery,” said Dr Satish Dha­s­m­ana from Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Medical College in Lucknow, who is treating victims in Badrinath.


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