Rescue work at a tunnel in Tapovan, in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, has resumed after it was temporarily suspended following a surge in water levels in several rivers on Thursday (February 11), days after flash floods wreaked devastation in the region.
“Water level is rising so teams were moved to safer locations. Operations have resumed with limited teams,” personnel from the National Disaster Relief Force told ANI.
Twenty-five to 35 people are still believed to be trapped in the tunnel, more than four days after a glacial burst on Sunday (February 7).
The incident, at Joshimath, triggered an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system, which wreaked devastation. Two power plants and five bridges were washed away due to a mighty surge of water downstream in Alakananda and Dhauliganga rivers. The toll stands at 34 and more than 200 people are still missing.
Multiple agencies, such as the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Disaster Relief Force and State Disaster Relief Force, have been racing against time, working day and night, to reach workers still trapped inside the tunnel.
The families waiting for their loved ones to be rescued broke down before Governor Baby Rani Maurya, who visited the site on Thursday to take stock of the situation.
(With inputs from agencies)