Rivers breached their banks, washing away bridges and flowing with violent force, as a cloudburst hit the Raipur-Kumalda area in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun district in the early hours of Saturday, officials said.
Water also entered the caves of Tapkeshwar, a famous Shiva temple on the banks of the Tons river, they told news agency PTI.
The cloudburst took place around 2:15 am. A bridge over the Song river was washed away and Kempty Falls, a popular tourist spot near Mussoorie, was flowing dangerously, the officials said.
Mud entered homes in over a dozen villages following the cloudburst, prompting the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to shift the affected people to safe locations.
“All the people stuck in the village were rescued, while some took shelter in a resort nearby,” news agency ANI quoted a member of the disaster response team as saying.
The affected villages include Maldevta, Bhutsi, Tauliyakatal, Thatyud, Lavarkha, Ringalgadh, Dhuttu, Ragad Gaon and Sarkhet, according to officials.
The affected residents have been shifted to schools and panchayat buildings, said Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dhanolti, Lakshmi Raj Chauhan.
The Raipur-Kumalda motor road has been blocked due to debris at several places, he said.
The Rishikesh-Badrinath highway is blocked at Totaghati, the Rishikesh-Gangotri highway is blocked at Nagni, and the Narendranagar-Ranipokhri motor road is blocked at several points, Mr Chauhan said.
In neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, a railway bridge in the Kangra district collapsed today after one of its three pillars gave in because of heavy rainfall.
Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and other Himalayan states regularly see immense destruction during the monsoon season with rising construction activity that pay little heed to the environment.
In June 2013, record monsoon rains in Uttarakhand caused devastating floods that claimed close to 6,000 lives.