scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Uttarakhand flash flood: Raini counts its dead, no road link for 13 villages to China border

The area where a water tank and a residential block stood was completely flattened, and a suspension bridge washed away, leaving 13 villages till the China border inaccessible by road. And, fears that another flash flood could hit the area continued to keep residents on tenterhooks.

Written by Mallica Joshi | Joshimath |
Updated: February 10, 2021 7:51:13 am
Uttarakhand flash flood, Raini people dead, Raini villages washed away, Chamoli district, Uttarakhand news, Indian express newsNDRF teams at the site of the incident.

AS DEBRIS and slush were cleared from the Rishi Ganga power plant site near Raini village, which bore the brunt of the flash flood in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, four bodies and the remains of a fifth were recovered Tuesday.

It was a grim reminder of the deluge that destroyed the plant two days ago.

The area where a water tank and a residential block stood was completely flattened, and a suspension bridge washed away, leaving 13 villages till the China border inaccessible by road. And, fears that another flash flood could hit the area continued to keep residents on tenterhooks.

Through Monday night, national and state disaster relief forces and Border Road Organisation (BRO) personnel worked to clear a 100-metre path from the gate of Raini, the home of the Chipko movement in the 1970s, to where the plant was located.

Uttarakhand flash floods, Ittarakhand death toll, Uttarakhand people missing, survivors, Uttarakhand tunnel, Uttarakhand news, Indian express news Rescue works underway near Raini village on Thursday.

“We had to stop for a while because we got inputs that there was a possibility of another avalanche. We started again on Monday evening and worked through the night. We have cleared a large rubble path. So far, we have found four bodies, and some remains,” said Major Parashurama, who is with the BRO and coordinating operations at the site.

“We are not going very fast because we think there could be around 20-30 bodies under the rubble here. According to our initial reports, there were 20-25 people at the gate, and they were all submerged. We expect to find another 30-35 bodies further down where two three-storey residential buildings stood. The overall estimate is around 70 bodies at this site,” he said.

According to senior NDRF officials, there is very little chance of finding survivors.

“The water and slush reached up to the villages located at a height. The power plant was much lower. We don’t think anyone down there is still alive. The recovery of bodies and clearance can take a few weeks. A lot of people are also coming in, looking for their relatives,” said Mohsen Shahidi, DIG, NDRF.

The SDRF, meanwhile, is setting up a zipline between the villages of Raini and Raini Palli, which lies across the bridge that was destroyed.

“The line can be used if someone needs to be sent rations or medicines urgently. There is air support at present, but we can use the zipline in case there is an emergency. A relief camp is being set up at Raini Palli,” said Navneet Singh, an SDRF official.

The state force is also coordinating a recce through drones. Drones with a capacity to fly for 30 minutes and record footage were sent upstream to see if there was any lake formation that could threaten rescuers. Officials said that no such formation has been detected so far.

By Tuesday evening, BRO officials had cleared several metres of slush with at least four excavators at the site.

“We will continue working into the night. But reconnecting the villages is the priority. We are looking at different ways to do this, including a temporary suspension bridge,” said a senior BRO official at the spot.

The state force is also coordinating a recce through drones. Drones with a capacity to fly for 30 minutes and record footage were sent upstream to see if there was any lake formation that could threaten rescuers. Officials said that no such formation has been detected so far.

By Tuesday evening, BRO officials had cleared several metres of slush with at least four excavators at the site.

“We will continue working into the night. But reconnecting the villages is the priority. We are looking at different ways to do this, including a temporary suspension bridge,” said a senior BRO official at the spot.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App.

0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement