Bad weather continued to lay a wet blanket on rescue operations in Uttarakhand on Tuesday, with an IAF chopper carrying 19 people crashing in the hills.
“Although air rescue resumed in the evening we lost almost 2 crucial days due to bad weather. It will now take 3-4 days to evacuate everybody from Badrinath. Two landslides on Monday blocked major roads to Dehradun. Food, medicines and water was airdropped today for stranded pilgrims as Met department warned of heavy rainfall,” officials said.
The Meteorological Department said heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur at Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Dehradun which could severely affect rescue operation.“We’re expecting heavy rainfall in Chamoli on Wednesday which would be around 28 mm while very heavy rainfall is expected on Thursday in all three districts,” the Met department said.
State officials said more than 1,000 NDRF and ITBP personnel are trying to recover bodies from the debris and rescue possible survivors in Kedarnath and Rambada.On Tuesday, they recovered 127 more bodies from Kedarnath. Fearing an outbreak of an epidemic, the government on Tuesday began making preparations for mass cremations at Kedarnath.ITBP DG Ajay Chadha said three ITBP personnel also complained of diarrhoea on Monday. They were evacuated from Gaurikund to Gaucher and admitted in the unit hospital. The government said 97,000 pilgrims had been evacuated till Tuesday evening from Rudrprayag, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Tehri and Pithoragarh. It has deployed more than 4,500 vehicles for taking the rescued people to their hometowns.