Singhdar (Uttarakhand): In the midnight hours of January 2 and 3, several houses collapsed at Singhdhar in the Joshimath town of Uttarakhand, sources said. However, no lives were lost in these incidents, they added.
According to sources, cracks at several houses and a nearby temple started widening to the point where they eventually collapsed.
Harish, a local, said, “It happened on January 2. It was around 2.30 am when we were sleeping. We heard a noise as the cracks on the walls opened up, and big chunks of concrete started falling off.”
“We were scared and spent the night under an open sky. We were shifted to a government school nearby the day after,” he said.
“Many important documents and household items were destroyed. But thankfully, no lives were lost. Some hotels in Manohar Bagh, too, have developed big cracks,” Harish added.
Another local resident, Rishi Devi, said while his residence and many others had developed cracks for some time, the municipality refused to act, saying it had no order from the higher authorities.
Rishi Devi said, “Our house had developed cracks for some time. We had requested the municipality for help. But over a span of two days, on January 2 and 3, our house as well as others collapsed. A nearby temple, too, collapsed and we even lost our cattle. Both my sons are jobless now,”.
The Uttarakhand Government, on January 12, announced a relief package of Rs 45 crore to families in Joshimath, where large cracks appeared in homes and on roads. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has released the relief package for nearly 3,000 families affected by gradual land subsidence in the Himalayan state.
Joshimath is the home to the monastery of Adi Sankaracharya and the gateway to the Badrinath Dham. In India’s seismic zonation scheme, the town is also in Zone V, denoting the highest risk.