On Tuesday, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) recovered five more bodies from the Alaknanda river, taking the death toll to 31.
After flash floods on Sunday in Uttarakhand, rescue operations continued on the third day on Tuesday in the disaster-hit Chamoli district as the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) recovered five more bodies from the Alaknanda river, taking the death toll to 31.
The heavy flooding on Sunday not only washed away homes and damaged two major dams but also cut off 13 villages, snapping crucial road links and bridges that connect far-flung areas in the Himalayan region. In what is called as the worst disaster to have hit the state in the last eight years, a glacier breach under the Nanda Devi, the country’s second-highest peak, sent a torrent of water, rock, and dust down a valley into the Rishiganga river, where workers were building a dam.
Earlier on Monday night, the officials had said that 26 bodies were recovered. Among 206 missing persons, the majority of whom were workers at the two project sites, about 175 still remain untraceable.
SDRF spokesman Praveen Alok said: “Till Tuesday noon, 31 bodies were recovered including five from the river on Tuesday morning. The SDRF teams are continuously scanning the river and riverside to search bodies.”
The major rescue work is still on in the 1.7km long tunnel at the NTPC project site, where 35 workers are feared trapped in the muck, he added.
A list of 185 missing people, who have been identified, has been released by the state police. The list includes 173 workers from the dam sites, mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, 12 villagers, and two policemen.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat today visited 13 villages and also met the injured in the army hospital in Joshimath near the disaster site.
Ration packets and other relief material are being provided by the government to 2,500 people of these villages by air.