Uttarakhand: The operation resumed at a tunnel in Joshimath teams involved in rescue were shifted to safer locations.
Rescue operations at the Tapovan tunnel was halted for a brief period in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand after an alarming rise was noticed in the water levels of Rishiganga and Alakananda rivers. Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar said that an order has been issued to get the area vacated as a precautionary measure. People living in nearby areas were alerted by the police. Chamoli police have requested people not to panic and remain alert.
The operation resumed at a tunnel in Joshimath teams involved in rescue were shifted to safer locations. The rescue operation has resumed with a limited team.
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#WATCH Uttarakhand: JCB machines, equipment and rescue teams exit the tunnel in Joshimath, Chamoli district where rescue operation is underway, as the operation has been temporarily halted due to a rise in the level of water in Rishiganga river. pic.twitter.com/u8JhPqCyFB
— ANI (@ANI) February 11, 2021
The rescue workers are also trying to reach the villages which got disconnected due to the disaster. ITBP troops deployed in the rescue and relief operations have constructed a Jhula bridge across disconnected villages in Chamoli district. The bridge will be used to transport ration to the affected areas.
Earlier today, a drilling operation was started by the NTPC team at 2 am to peep into the slush-flushing tunnel that is about 12-13 metres below, Vivek Kumar Pandey, spokesperson for the lead rescue agency, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), said.
Rescue teams have started drilling operation to peep into the tunnel. We are presently at 6.5 meters: Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar pic.twitter.com/sGn7Y2Wtzz
— ANI (@ANI) February 11, 2021
“Drilling through the debris started from around 68 metres inside the tunnel, Garhwal Commissioner Ravinath Raman, who is supervising the massive rescue effort at the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) project site,” he told PTI.
Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya also visited the tunnel rescue site today to take stock of the ongoing operation.
An estimated 30-35 people are believed to be trapped inside the tunnel since a flash flood battered various villages and hydro-power projects in Chamoli district. Death toll in the accident has risen to 35 while 204 persons are reported to be still missing. Workers at the 480-MW Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel power project were trapped soon after the swollen Alaknanda river came hurtling down after a glacier burst and washed away everything. Over 500 personnel from the ITBP, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the Army have been involved in the rescue and relief operations.