Uttarakhand Disaster: Death Toll Rises To 68, Rescue Operations Still Underway

The identities of only 38 bodies have been established so far. Furthermore, 28 human body parts have been recovered from different places.

Uttarakhand   |   22 Feb 2021 3:16 AM GMT
Writer : Yamini | Editor : Prateek Gautam | Creatives : Rajath
Uttarakhand Disaster: Death Toll Rises To 68, Rescue Operations Still Underway

After a flash flood wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, the death toll rose to 68 as the rescue operations continued for the 15th day on February 21.

According to The Hindu, five more bodies were discovered on Saturday, February 20, from the Tapovan area - three from the desilting tank near the project barrage by the evening while two more were extricated late at night.

The identities of only 38 bodies have been established so far. Furthermore, 28 human body parts have been recovered from different places.

The Uttarakhand Police have sent the DNA samples of 96 family members of the missing persons and 73 bodies/body parts to the forensic science laboratory in Dehradun for matching.

The Joshimath police have registered 204 missing reports.

"All kinds of rescue operations in Joshimath, Raini and Tapovan areas be it search, rescue or relief will continue and the operations would go on till the last person was discovered," said Director General of Uttarakhand Police Ashok Kumar.

Earlier on February 16, over 300 more personnel joined the rescue operations in the Tapovan area of Chamoli district to find out the missing people.

An Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) official said, "More than 325 personnel including engineers, officers, geologists, scientists, security personnel from National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited (THDC), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Uttarakhand Purvsanik Kalyan Limited (UPNL) and others are involved in the rescue operation."

While speaking to PTI, "Rescue and search operations will go on till the last victim is reached," said National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) commandant PK Tiwari.

The commandant said that he was not sure about anything but miracles do happen.

"There is lakhs of metric tonnes of sludge in the tunnel. Even so, as a soldier and a rescuer, I can only say the operations will continue till the last victim is reached," he added.

The commandant further added that the ongoing rescue operations at the Tapovan tunnel are strange and the muck-clearing exercise may take months.

"The tunnel is four-km long. We have only reached about 160-165 metres inside it and have to go beyond that. The Tunnel took eight to 10 years to be built and sludge-clearing through a tunnel may take months, if not a year."

Glacier burst in the Tapovan area of Chamoli district of Uttrakhand has led to massive destruction and flooding in the Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers causing damage to the nearby houses.

Also Read: 'Will Investigate All Aspects Of Glacier Burst': Uttarakhand Irrigation Minister Satpal Maharaj

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