Search and rescue operations in Kedarnath over

Published: 25th June 2013 12:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2013 12:42 PM   |  A+A-


Search and rescue operation in Kedarnath and surrounding areas is over for all practical purposes, officials said here on Tuesday.

No more survivors have been found and defence and paramilitary personnel are now wrapping up their mission.

"No survivors remain in the jungles around Kedarnath. They have all been brought out," Ravinath Raman, nodal officer of rescue operations in Rudraprayag district said in Guptkashi on Monday.

In Son Prayag, 25-km from Guptakashi, there were only a handful of NDRF personnel present in the morning.

The rest had all returned to Guptkashi by Monday evening.

"Our teams were also in Rambada, Gaurikund and Kedarnath, but they would have returned by nightfall," said an NDRF official.

"Army and paramilitary personnel have minutely combed the jungles in this area. There are no more people trapped here. The survivors have all been moved," he added.

Son Prayag is a landscape of rock and boulders now, with only a strip of water flowing through.

The entire river bed at the confluence of the Son and Mandakini, where once houses, hotels and shops stood, is now a rocky expanse.

Some NDRF personnel had their faces covered with masks; every fresh breeze carried the smell of decomposing corpses.

"The bodies cannot be removed. They are far too decomposed  for that. We will have to cremate them where they are found," Raman had told reporters yesterday.

"But the rain will make that difficult. The forecast is for heavy weather in the coming few days," he said.

The toll he said was 1,000 as of Monday, on the basis of bodies found.

The rest are being taken as missing.

In Delhi, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that the body count may be much higher.



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