Eight days after flash flood wrecked Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, 54 bodies have been recovered so far, authorities have informed. That leaves over 150 persons still missing going by the initial estimates. Various forces are still racing against time to save possible survivors. The glacier burst in the upper Himalayas that caused the avalanche and deluge in the Dhauliganga-Alakananda river system washed away a hydroelectric station and five bridges, besides severely damaging another power project.
A multi-agency track-and-rescue effort, involving the state and national disaster response teams, the armed forces, paramilitary, and police, has been on since then.
Up to 54 bodies have been recovered so far, authorities have said. "Rescue operations are still underway at Tapovan Tunnel in Joshimath, Chamoli," the State Disaster Response Force has said, according to ANI.
Bringing the bodies out of the tunnel is turning out to be a difficult task, PK Tiwari, Commandant of the National Disaster Response Force, had told ANI yesterday.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Patrol yesterday said that some six bodies were recovered in the Raini locality yesterday. The National Thermal Power Corporation's Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project there had suffered heavy damages. The dam there had been completely washed off.
River Alaknanda was flowing at normal levels in the state over the weekend and no alert had been issued by the district administration in this regard, state police chief Ashok Kumar said.
Scientists from the Geological Survey of India have said, prima facie, the flash floods were caused by glacial calving at the highest altitude in Rishiganga and Dhauliganga area. The hundreds of power projects and widening of roads may be playing havoc with the ecologically fragile region which is also earthquake-prone, according to experts.
Drawing lessons from the incident, a plantation drive was conducted on Sunday at the Prowa Jagir watershed area in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur by the Integrated Water Management Programme to encourage plantation of trees and prevention of soil erosion, ANI reported.