Uttarakhand: 38 Bodies Recovered, Home Secy Holds Review Meet

The death toll has increased to 36 people, out which 24 are yet to be identified.

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Seven days into the rescue operations after flashfloods in Uttarakhand’s Tapovan, over 204 people are still reported missing as the death toll has now hit 38. Of those deceased, 24 are yet to be identified.

Operations to rescue people stranded after the flash flood in Chamoli district resumed on Thursday after being temporarily halted due to a rise in the Rishiganga river, ANI reported.

NDRF personnel told ANI that the teams were shifted to safer locations after the water level rose and the operation has resumed with limited teams.

A meeting to review the progress of relief work by the Uttarakhand government and central forces was chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Thursday, 11 February, noted PTI.

“The Union home secretary reviewed the action required for regulating the flow of water from a temporary obstruction which has formed upstream from the project,” said the official statement, as quoted by PTI.

The meeting was attended by heads of Defence Research and Development Organisation, NTPC, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and National Disaster Response Force, the secretary of the power ministry, members of National Disaster Management Authority, scientists, senior officers of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, and the chief secretary of the Uttarakhand government, noted PTI.

The DRDO secretary was asked to coordinate with central and state agencies for apt remedial measures and to depute experts to analyse the situation, reported ANI.

There has been an assurance by the Union Home Secretary of all possible help and support from Central agencies, noted the official statement.


No Contact With Those Trapped Inside the Tunnel

The rescue workers on Thursday began drilling the tunnel vertically downward, in what is seen as a new strategy to save 25-35 people trapped inside a tunnel of NTPC's Tapovan hydel project, IANS reported.

The rescuers have also used remote sensing technologies for geographical mapping of the tunnel.

The rescuers have managed to open a sizeable portion of the tunnel but the operation has slowed down due to the presence of heavy silt inside the tunnel, ITBP officials told the media on Wednesday.

No contact has been established with the trapped people inside.

Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya on Thursday had visited the rescue site to take stock of the ongoing operation.

(With inputs from PTI, IANS and ANI)

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