A team of scientists, flown to Dehradun after the glacier burst in Uttarakhand, left for Joshimath area on Monday for surveillance and reconnaissance.
The scientists, belonging to the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), were flown to the Uttarakhand capital on Sunday night.
“A team of scientists of DRDO-SASE, flown in last night to Dehradun, is leaving for Joshimath area for surveillance and reconnaissance,” a Home Ministry spokesperson said on Monday.
A portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday, triggering an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system that washed away hydroelectric stations, leaving at least 10 people dead and 143 others missing.
The sudden flood in the middle of the day in the Dhauli Ganga, Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers — all intricately linked tributaries of the Ganga — triggered widespread panic and large-scale devastation in the high mountain areas.
Two power projects – NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project and the Rishi Ganga Hydel Project – were extensively damaged with scores of labourers trapped in tunnels as the waters came rushing in.
Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar said 153 people were missing from the two hydel projects at Raini and Tapovan out of which 10 bodies have been recovered while 143 are still missing.
“The efforts are focussed at the moment on rescuing 30-35 people trapped in a 250-metre-long tunnel at Tapovan,” he said.