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Uttarakhand disaster: Death toll touches 38, 166 still missing

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The Chamoli district administration on Friday said that the death toll in the Uttarakhand disaster has surged to 38, with another 166 people missing.

Notably, two more bodies were recovered on Friday. While one of the bodies was recovered from the rubble at the Rishi Ganga Hydel Project in Raini, the other body was recovered from Maithana.

A glacial burst near Joshimath on Sunday triggered an avalanche and flooding along the Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. The gushing water damaged houses along the river bank and the Rishi Ganga power project.

Uttarakhand rescue operations

The rescue operations continued with full force as the Uttarakhand disaster reached day six. The damaged tunnel of Tapovan district saw beelines of Disaster Rescue Teams and relatives of the victims trapped inside the tunnel. Rescuers are now digging through the rubble inside the tunnel to safeguard the workers trapped at the site.

Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar, in Dehradun, said sludge clearing and drilling operations are simultaneously underway at the tunnel to reach the smaller tunnel underneath where they may be trapped.

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“It may be the sixth day after the calamity but we have not lost hope and will try our best to save as many lives as we can,” Kumar said.

On reports of protests by the family members of the missing people in Tapovan, he said they should not lose patience as all efforts are being made to establish contact with those trapped inside the tunnel.  The site of the hydro project of NTPC in Tapovan was reviewed by officials to analyse the current situation and intensify the rescue operations for saving people trapped in the damaged tunnel.

Rescue agencies began drilling through the debris in the Tapovan tunnel to establish contact with the over 30 people trapped inside after a flash flood, an operation which stalled briefly Thursday when the Dhauliganga river began swelling again.

 

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