Some 10,000 people remain stranded in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, a popular summer destination for tourists and religious visitors. The monsoon hit the state a month earlier than it had for the past half century, catching visitors and residents entirely unprepared.
At least 187 bodies have been uncovered from a popular pilgrimage town where Nabhanyu was visiting with a group of 40 to 50 other people when the flooding began on June 16.
“I saw the disaster with my own eyes,” Nabhanyu said. “I had come to pray to my deity, but I never knew this mishap would happen to us. While the water was entering into the parking area, I, along with other people, ran and reached a safe place. But I’m sad to say our two buses and drivers were washed away in the floodwaters.”
With tears in his eyes, he said, “I will never come again to this place.”
Landslides Block Compassion Services Teams
A Gospel for Asia Compassion Services team struggled to help those affected, as landslides blocked the only road leading to this particular area. After 12 hours of travel, the team decided to see what they could do for a nearby, more accessible town.
“After seeing the condition of the flood victims, our hearts were broken,” said a GFA correspondent. “They had not eaten food for over five days. They were surviving with water and some tea biscuits.
“Some were complaining about pain in their bodies,” he continued. “We saw some women who had been injured while trying to excape from rushing floodwaters. There was a lady whose leg was swelling from her injury.”
After traveling farther, the team postponed its travel plans again on Tuesday, with hopes of continuing the next day. Equipped with rations, raincoats, tarps, medicine and other supplies, they started out at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning only to have their truck break down about halfway through their journey.
With six hours left until they reach their destination, they are praying to arrive before nightfall.
“Almost 100 families are waiting for us,” said Pastor Baha Udeen.
Government officials anticipate three years of rebuilding the state’s destroyed infrastructure