Uttarakhand tragedy: UN says more than 11,000 missing; 1,350 evacuated from Badrinath

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 02 July 2013, 01:47 PM

A total of 1,350 people have been evacuated from Badrinath while over 3,500 remain untraced in flood-hit Uttarakhand even as a UN agency estimated that the number of missing could be over 11,000.

"According to data available till Sunday, 1,350 have been evacuated from Badrinath- 800 by air and 550 by road. But there are some locals too like shopkeepers and ashram dwellers who also are being evacuated," NDMA Vice Chairman M Shashidhar Reddy told reporters here today.

The number of dead stands at 580 while the NDRF has rescued 8,634 people from Kedarnath taking the overall evacuation to 1,08,253 people, he said.

"According to the quantum of FIRs filed, the number of missing stands at 3,500-3,700 but a report prepared by a UN agency along with some NGO pegs the figure in excess of 11 thousand," Reddy said.

He informed that maximum deaths have occurred in the Kedarnath and Rambada areas while the number of injured registered so far has risen to is 3,119 compared to the figures of 436 on Saturday.

"Though the excavators which were supposed to be airlifted yesterday in special Mi-26 helicopters could not be taken due to bad weather, about 385 heavy machines and bulldozers are locally in operation cutting through the debris," Reddy said.

He added that however one "heavy team" with all equipment to assist the state administration are in Guptkashi from where "they will be airlifted to Kedarnath" to search for the dead bodies near the shrine.

Another team is in Joshimath from where they will proceed to Badrinath.

With various state agencies at work in Uttarakhand, he said "he had heard that different information were being disseminated from time to time leading to contradictory figures" and this should be looked into.

He said the total number of affected villages has risen from 2,000 to above 4,000.

"The number of villages affected is 4200 from 2,375 mark two days ago. While 2,865 have their road connectivities restored, 1,335 still await connectivity. About 737 are still not ready for traffic," he said.

About 6,000 labourers have been employed in clearing out the debris in search for the survivors and dead bodies.

Over 3,700 villages and hamlets had their power connection snapped on June 16 when the disaster struck but now 3,283 have been restored leaving 444 to be put back on the grid, he said.

Reddy also informed that "out of the 20 victims from the recent helicopter crash during the rescue operations in Uttarakhand, seven have been identified through DNA testing.

Three among them were from the NDRF".

Four Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Netra) have also been pressed into service for low-lying areas inaccessible for a helicopter.

About 200 civil defence personnel and conservancy staff are working for the disposal of the dead bodies, he said.

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First Published: Monday, July 01, 2013 09:29 PM
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