Nearly 30 families in the Himalayan town of Joshimath have been evacuated to safer locations with several houses in the area prone to high seismic activity developing cracks, according to officials. Located at a height of 6,000 feet in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, the town, on the route to Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib, falls in high-risk seismic 'Zone-V'.
So far, 561 houses in different areas of the town have developed cracks, including 153 in Ravigram, 127 in Gandhinagar, 71 in Manoharbagh, 52 in Singhdhar, 50 in Parsari, 29 in Upper Bazar, 27 in Suneel, 28 in Marwadi and 24 in Lower Bazar, District Disaster Management Officer NK Joshi said.
The degree of damage to the houses differ and till now, 29 families from the most affected houses have been shifted temporarily to safer places from the town, he said, adding that more families could be evacuated if required. The locations where they have been shifted to include the Nagar Palika Bhawan, a primary school building, the Milan Kendra and the Joshimath Gurudwara, the official said.
Some of the families have also been shifted for the time being to the places of their relatives, Joshi said. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said the situation in Joshimath is being closely monitored and he will himself visit the place to assess the situation. Officials said a team of experts has also been set up to conduct a survey of the place that falls in the high risk seismic 'Zone-V'.