In the latest development on the Uttarakhand tragedy, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Friday asserted that a lake has been forming in the upper region of the Raini village in Uttarakhand which may hamper the ongoing rescue efforts. The Chief Minister also added that the authorities are closely observing the developments and that there is no need to panic.
"Present situation suggests that we need to be cautious but nothing to worry. Scientists are working on it. We are also planning to airdrop experts for review," Chief Minister Rawat said.
Rescue efforts for the Uttarakhand landslide are still underway for the sixth consecutive day.
Project in-charge, RP Ahiwar, said that the drilling is going well and that new machines will soon be added to help to make a way into the second tunnel.
Ahiwar said that the drill successfully punctured the safety tunnel and that they are planning to widen the hole to begin pumping.
He was quoted by ANI saying, “Our calculation was accurate and we've punctured the safety tunnel at the mark of 11.6 m. The pressure is released. Our drills are in place which is a good sign. We'll widen the hole so that pumping can be attempted.”
He further said, “We will bring another vehicle to the site, with that we will be able to do large sized-drillings. When that hole is done, we will tell you about our further plans...Drilling of rocks is done and we have reached the tunnel. There can be either slush or water in there.”
We will bring another vehicle to the site, with that we will be able to do large sized-drillings. When that hole is done, we will tell you about our further plans...Drilling of rocks is done and we have reached the tunnel. There can be either slush or water in there: RP Ahirwar
— ANI (@ANI) February 12, 2021
Ahiwar also said that he is coordinating with the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and is in contact with all the necessary teams.
The death toll in the Uttarakhand glacier burst incident has reached 37 after one more body was recovered from a riverbank near Maithana village on Friday. Many people are still trapped in the sludge-choked tunnel. The operation was temporarily halted following a rise in the level of water in the Rishiganga River yesterday.
The drilling of 75mm diameter about 12 m long hole from intake adit to silt flushing tunnel was successful. This is good sign as there is no water/slush pressure observed in silt flushing tunnel.
However, a camera could not be inserted due to the presence of slush. Drilling of larger diameter hole has been planned now. The drilling machine is being deployed at the location immediately. The diameter of the borehole shall be 250-300mm.