Dehradun: Air rescue operations In Uttarakhand began on Wednesday morning from Joshimath to Badrinath with a considerable risk to the lives of the men in uniform, who are undeterred despite the tragic helicopter crash on Tuesday. Twenty people have died in the crash, including 5 IAF, 9 NDRF and 6 ITBP personnel.
Air Chief NAK Browne visited Gaurikund to pay his respects to the victims. The cockpit voice recorder of the Mi-17 V5 that crashed on Tuesday has been found and will be sent to Chandigarh for analysis. While the reason for the crash is still unclear, the analysis of the voice recorder should shed some light on the cause of the crash.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has now declared a day of mourning as a mark of respect to the crash victims. He has also announces Rs 10 lakh each for the families of the personnel who died in Tuesday's chopper crash and has promised free eduction to their children if they wish to study in Uttarakhand. The five IAF personnel who died in the crash are Wing Commander Darryl Castelino, Flight Lieutenant K Praveen, Junior Warrant Officer AK Singh, Sargent Sudhakar Yadav and Flight Lieutenant Tapan Kapoor
Rescue operations continued in Joshimath as stranded tourists in Badrinath were being brought back in an Mi-17 chopper. The Army has also constructed a steel bridge between Badrinath and Joshimath which will help in rescue operations on foot.
"Eight sorties have been completed since morning in Harsil. In Badrinath, air evacuations has started after some delay in the morning," Army spokesperson Brigadier Uma Maheshwari said. "The Army has launched third operation for search in Kedarnath," he added.
This even as the Met department has warned of more rains in the state. Rains started in Phata, Gaurikund and Guptkashi areas on Wednesday morning. The Met department has said that it will rain heavily in some areas and that bad weather is likely to hamper rescue operations on Wednesday as well. It is a race against time as over 8,000 people remain stranded in Uttarakhand.
"Rains will continue, expect moderate rain across Uttrakhand today," said Anand Sharma of the Met department. "We see cloud movement towards Uttrakhand from Himachal Pradesh. Helicopter movement in afternoons in this terrain is risky. Heavy showers are expected in isolated areas. The weather can hamper rescue and relief operations," Sharma added.
Meanwhile, CNN-IBN reporters on the ground reported that food shortage in many villages that have been cut-off due to flash floods is a cause of worry. Villages in Rudraprayag have been cut-off due to roads connecting them to the main markets have been washed away. They are reeling under hunger and a threat of diseases with sufficient food supplies not reaching them.
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: email@example.com
Haridwar Control Room Numbers: 01334-233727, 01334-265876, 01334-223999, 01334-226849
Contact Person Dr Naresh Chaudhary: 9837352202