Air Force, Army Help With Uttarakhand Rescue, 3 Bodies Recovered
India today scrambled to deploy its various forces in search, salvage, and rescue operations in Uttarakhand which is facing a major disaster following a glacier burst in Chamoli district. While three bodies have been found following the events of the day, over 150 persons were said to be missing.
Teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were deployed in the Joshimath area, according to SN Pradhan, the Director General of NDRF. “NDRF has already moved from Dehradun to Joshimath. We are organising airlift for 3-4 more teams from Delhi to Dehradun onwards to Joshimath,” he said, according to ANI.
Six columns – around 600 personnel – of the Indian Army were already moving towards the flood-affected areas, officials said. The Army has also deployed choppers to support the government’s operations. Two medical teams have joined the operations while one engineering task force has been sent to Ringi village.
The military station near Rishikesh, they said, was actively involved in the coordination of rescue and relief operations with the local administration even as Army headquarters monitored the situation.
Three choppers, including two Mi-17s and one ALH Dhruv chopper, of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were stationed in Dehradun and nearby areas for rescue operations. More aircraft will be deployed as per the requirement, IAF officials said according to ANI.
Indo-Tibetan Border Patrol (ITBP) personnel had arrived in Tapovan and Reni areas shortly after the flash floods had occurred.
“Over 200 jawans are on the job and working in collaboration with local administration. One team is on the spot to assess the situation,” ITBP spokesperson Vivek Pandey said. “Another team is deployed near Joshimath to raise awareness and evacuate people. The situation is under control.”
The glacier breach has triggered an avalanche and massive flooding along the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers, forcing the emergency evacuation of thousands from surrounding areas, and damaging houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project. The upper reaches of the Rishiganga project also has been damaged, according to NDRF chief Pradhan.