Uttarakhand glacier breach: 56 bodies recovered, 150 more to be found
- Officials said cases of 179 missing people have been registered
- Rescuers are racing against time to free the trapped in the Tapovan valley
- Flash floods caused by possible glacier burst on February 7 wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand
The Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority on Sunday said that a total of 56 bodies have been recovered so far. While 29 of those bodies have been identified and 25 are yet to be identified. They also said that 150 more bodies are to be found. Officials said that missing people cases were also registered.
Meanwhile, a massive operation is underway to free the trapped in Tapovan valley.
The February 7 devastation, possibly triggered by an avalanche in the upper reaches of the Alaknanda river system, wreaked havoc.
Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauria and Superintendent of Police Yashwant Singh Chauhan rushed to the tunnel when the first two bodies were brought out in the early hours of Sunday.
Four more bodies were recovered later from the tunnel, which is packed with debris brought by the flash flood.
Officials maintain that a helicopter has been kept on standby at the Tapovan rescue site to quickly fly out survivors.
Rescuers are also pursuing an alternative approach, trying to widen a hole they have drilled into another interconnected tunnel from where the trapped men could be reached.
The Chamoli DM said about 445 people stranded after the flash flood have so far been sent to their villages using helicopters. Over 500 ration kits have been distributed in the affected areas.
Medical camps put up in the affected villages have so far treated 998 patients.
The agencies involved in the Tapovan rescue work include the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force.