Uttarakhand landslip death toll rises to 50

Of the 50 bodies retrieved, 41 were found at Chamoli, seven at Rudraprayag, and one each at Pauri Garhwal and Tehri Garhwal.

Twelve bodies were recovered on Sunday in the ongoing rescue operations in Uttarakhand, according to an update from Uttarakhand Police. This brings the total number of bodies found to 50. About 154 are still believed missing.

Rescue operations are on at the Tapovan hydropower station in Chamoli, Uttarakhand, where a torrential flood last Sunday from a glacier-linked landslide destroyed hydropower plants downstream, killing at least 50 and causing 204 to go missing.

In Pictures | The aftermath of Uttarakhand glacier disaster

Of the bodies retrieved, 41 were found at Chamoli, seven at Rudraprayag, and one each at Pauri Garhwal and Tehri Garhwal. Only 25 of the recovered bodies have been identified.

As part of rescue operations, a 30-cm diameter and 12-metre-deep borehole has been drilled to aid with removing silt. Many of those killed are believed to be workers at the tunnels of the Tapovan hydropower project, who were trapped in the massive pile of rubble and debris that resulted from the avalanche blocking the inlet tunnels.

There are also operations on to divert the river’s course from the left bank to the right bank to aid in desilting operations. There are at least 325 engineers, officers, geologists and scientists engaged in rescue operations.

Efforts are also on to monitor the size of a lake that has been forming on the upper portion of the Rishiganga because the natural course of the river is being obstructed due to a pile of debris from last week’s avalanche.

The lake is estimated to be 350 metres long, with a dam height of 50 metres. Scientists of the Central Water Commission are assessing the extent of possible flooding such a column of water can cause.

The lake that was detected on Friday has, however, already started leaking water, multiple scientists have told The Hindu.

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