Home Ministry officials confirmed that three teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel are on their way to Rudraprayag, one of the areas worst affected by the flash floods over the weekend, to search for missing people and rescue stranded people in the town that connects the Badrinath temple with the national highway.
State officials did not say how many people are believed to be missing, but noted that army and NDRF personnel are searching flooded areas for missing guides and their mules estimated to be around 5,000 at Gaurikund base camp on the trek route to Kedarnath.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has also announced financial assistance of `25 crore to the adjoining Uttarakhand to help in rebuilding flood ravaged regions.
He has also directed his government’s officials to see that lives of human beings are protected at any cost. He would be touring the flood-ravaged regions tomorrow by the state plane.
The state government in coordination with the central government has deployed all rescue agencies including the NDRF, ITBP and BSF apart from the local police and paramilitary personnel to extend relief to and rescue stranded people, both locals and tourists and pilgrims.
Even on the fourth day after the deluge, thousands of people remained stranded and starving in many places, and it was difficult to reach reinforcements to them.
Several men, women and children in interior places in Chamoli and Rudraprayag were seen trekking up to the hill tops through the rugged terrain with the help of ropes so that they could be ferried by government choppers to safer destinations.
According to eye witness accounts of survivors and rescue officials, many more people are feared to have been drowned in the flash floods and trapped under the debris of the landslides that were triggered by the cloud bursts and uninterrupted rains, than officially declared.