Dehradun: The Uttarakhand government has said that 3,000 people are still missing in the state even as rescue operations are expected to wind up in some sectors on Friday. The rescue operations will continue in Badrinath, say sources. There are contradicting figures of those missing though as the NDMA says 344 people are missing and that close to 1,800 people are stranded.
The focus is now shifting to those missing and the villagers and locals affected, say sources in the National Disaster Management Authority and Ministry of Home Affairs. Army Chief General Bikram Singh is expected to visit Joshimath to take stock of relief operations on Friday.
In the last leg of their rescue operations in Uttarakhand, the Army on Thursday said it has completed the evacuation of all pilgrims stranded in Harsil. "532 stranded people have been evacuated today by air from Harsil, leaving just 100 to 150 locals to be evacuated. With this, all pilgrims have been evacuated from Harsil. At least 450 people were evacuated by helicopters from Badrinath on Thursday," it said.
On rescue operations in Badrinath, the force said all able-bodied and willing people were motivated by the Army to undertake journey from Badrinath to Joshimath by a combination of foot and vehicles. "While only 12 Kms is by foot, the remaining 31 Kms is undertaken by vehicles. 900 people set out on foot," the Army said.
The IAF had flown over 1,820 sorties sice June 17 till June 27, including over 60 on June 27 in which it has rescued over 15,113 people. The Directorate General of Armed Forces Medical Services (DG, AFMS) has deployed 400 people of various specialties in flood-affected areas. The DG, AFMS, has provided medical treatment to 7,000 civilians so far in the area and has also been sending medicines and other equipment for stranded people there.
In Dehradun, the 20 men from the Air Force, ITBP and NDRF bravehearts, who died in Tuesday's helicopter crash while on a rescue mission, will be given a 'guard of honour' on Friday.
Meanwhile, mass cremations were carried out in Kedarnath. Authorities took DNA samples and photographs of the bodies before performing their last rites. "Some bodies are identifiable and some are not. We want to be sure before we confirm details. The ones that are identifiable we're going ahead with legal formalities. And for the others we will have to resort to DNA testing," ITBP DG Ajay Chadha said.
The authorities are also trying to prevent the spread of diseases in certain areas in the state. The Union Health Ministry has sent a team to review the public health situation in the hill state.
Accompanied by Reddy, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is likely to visit Uttarakhand on Friday to take stock of the relief work in the hill state.
In Delhi, the Supreme Court will resume its hearing on the relief work. Earlier, the court had asked the Centre and the state government to step up rescue operations.
Save the Children contact details:
Website : www.savethechildren.in
Phone : 011-42294900 / 66141335
Uttarkashi: 01374-226126, 226161
The ITBP helpline and control room numbers: 011-24362892, 9968383478
Army medical emergency helpline numbers: 18001805558, 18004190282, 8009833388
Uttarakhand Helpline numbers: 0135-2710334, 2710335, 2710233
Railway helpline numbers at Haridwar: 09760534054/09760534055;
Special helpline numbers:
State Disaster Management Centre: 0135-2710334, 2710335, 2718401-04. Fax: 2718400, 6555523, 6555524
Others: 09755444486, 09808151240, 09837134399, 999779124, 9451901023, 9456755206, 9634535758
For more information, please see the website where details are available: http://uk.gov.in
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Haridwar Control Room Numbers: 01334-233727, 01334-265876, 01334-223999, 01334-226849
Contact Person Dr Naresh Chaudhary: 9837352202
(With additional information from PTI)