Uttarakhand flood: Army deploys four columns, medical teams

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) The Army on Sunday deployed four columns and two medical teams in the rescue of people affected by a massive flood in the Dhauli Ganga river after a part of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off at Joshimath in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, officials said.

They said one engineering task force of the Army was also deployed in Ringi village in Joshimath.

Over 150 labourers working at a power project in Tapovan-Reni are feared dead, an Indo Tibetan Border Police spokesperson said while quoting the project-in charge. Three bodies have been recovered.

'The loss of precious lives due to the glacier burst in Chamoli is deeply painful. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Two helicopters from the Armed Forces have been moved from Bareilly to Joshimath for rescue and relief operations,' Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.

'I have been watching the visuals from Chamoli district about the damage caused by the glacier burst. In this difficult time, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the people affected by the tragedy. Praying for the well-being of the people of Uttarakhand,' he said.

The Army has also pressed into service a number of its helicopters to assist the civil administration in rescuing people from flood affected areas, the officials said.

'Four Army columns and two medical teams were deployed so far,' said a military official. A column comprises 30-40 personnel.

Officials said the Indian Air Force has operated C-130 and AN32 transport aircraft to airlift personnel from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to the affected areas. PTI MPB RDM RDM