Chamoli (Uttarakhand) [India], February 9 (ANI): As many as 32 bodies have been recovered so far from different areas hit by the glacier burst in Chamoli district, while 197 people are still missing, Uttarakhand Police said.
"197 people are missing. 32 bodies recovered so far from various locations, 8 of these identified," police said.
The police also issued a helpline number to provide information about bodies that have not been identified yet.
"People, who know someone who is missing, can contact DIG Law and Order on +91 7500016666, they will be sent photos of 24 bodies that are yet to be identified, on WhatsApp," police said.
A joint team of ITBP, NDRF, SDRF and other agencies conducting rescue operations used drone cameras to see feasibility to enter beyond cleared site inside Tapovan tunnel.
They haven't been successful so far. Machines deployed to clear slush, said ITBP.
A SDRF personnel involved in rescue work in Tapovan area said there is an accumulation of a large amount of debris and sludge inside the tunnel.
"As much as we pull out via buckets, the sludge keeps coming back. Progress is slow for now, we are trying to fasten the process," he said.
"We have cleared up to 60m inside the tunnel and can see up to 30m more but there is still a lot of work left. A large amount of debris stocked inside. I have never witnessed such a situation before. Hope to save people stuck inside," said a machine operator from the rescue site.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said all the concerned authorities are working effectively on the ground and food and water are being provided on a timely basis to all.
"Teams of Army, NDRF, ITBP & SDRF are working day-night amid challenging situations to rescue people. Saving lives is the biggest challenge right now. Search underway for missing people. 206 people were missing, of which 31 bodies have been found," Pokhriyal had said.
"Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat is regularly monitoring the situation on the ground. All the concerned authorities are working effectively on the ground and food and water are being provided on a timely basis to all," the Union Minister said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed the Lok Sabha that efforts are underway on a war footing to rescue those who are trapped in a tunnel after a glacier burst in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district on Sunday.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has set up its control room and its 450 jawans are carrying out search and rescue operations, he added.
A glacial broke in the Tapovan-Reni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand on Sunday, which led to massive flooding in Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers and damaged houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project. (ANI)