DEHRADUN: More than 12 hours after an avalanche hit the areas north of Joshimath in Uttarakhand, two bodies were recovered, an unspecified number persons are still missing while the Indian Army has, so far, rescued 291 people.
"Two bodies recovered so far. Road access is cut off at 4 to 5 locations due to multiple landslides. BRTF teams from Joshimath working to clear the slides en route from Bhapkund to Sumna since last evening. It's expected to take another 6-8 hrs to clear this complete axis," the Army said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said the water level in the Rishi Ganga river has risen by two feet.
The Central government is said to be monitoring the situation.
The glacier burst took place because of heavy snowfall in the region. The Border Road Organisation (BRO) is trying to establish contact with workers who were involved in road construction activities in the area.
The burst took place in Sumna village. The Central Army Command is carrying out rescue operations. Colonel Manish Kapil, Commander, Border Road Task Force (BRTF) told media persons, a glacier has burst in Uttarakhand's Joshimath on the India-China border.
Soon after hearing about the glacier burst, Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said, "I have received news about a glacier burst in the Sumna village in Niti Valley. I have issued an alert, and I am in regular touch with the BRTO and district administration."
He further stated that the district administration has been asked to get details of the incident. "We have issued instructions to stop work at NTPC and other hydroelectric plants at night in order to avert any untoward incident."
(with inputs from IANS)