Even as the total number of bodies recovered from reached 68, while 136 still reported to be missing after the devastating flash floods of February 7, a 30-member expert team has succeeded in widening the mouth of the lake, formed upstream Rishiganga river in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, in order to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.
According to state disaster response force (SDRF) commandant Navneet Bhullar, the team managed to widen the mouth of the lake by about 15 feet, leading to faster drainage.
“In a daring effort, the team has widened the mouth of the lake in a very difficult terrain, which has increased the discharge from the lake. Due to this, the chances of lake burst or Chamoli-like tragedy happening again have been averted. And our team members are still camping there to try to widen the mouth further,” Bhullar was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
A team of researchers arrived in Pang village on Saturday to inspect the artificial lake formed over Rishiganga after the recent avalanche and gauge how big a threat it poses to areas downstream.
First team to reach at lake: Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) team reached murenda where a natural lake is formed after recent floods in #Chamoli, Uttarakhand. The team established the base camp, selected location for Helipad. Another team with DRDO team to reach soon.#Himveers pic.twitter.com/JHldvqrW5F
— ITBP (@ITBP_official) February 17, 2021
The team, led by USAC Director MPS Bisht and consisting of four scientists each from the Geological Survey of India and Uttarakhand Space Application Centre, reached the lake on foot.
With roads in the area around Raini Gram Panchayat washed out in the recent flash flood and vast stretches turned into swamps, the team was accompanied by a mountaineer from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering and SDRF jawans to ensure their safe journey to the lake.
Out of the total recovered bodies on Monday, 14 were found from the tunnel at the NTC hydropower project site at Tapovan, while the rest were recovered from other areas.