At least two people have died after an avalanche hit Uttarakhand's Chamoli Garhwal district near the India-China border at around 4 p.m. on Friday, the Indian Army said. The road access is cut off at four to five locations due to multiple landslides and Border Road Task Force (BRTF) teams from Joshimath are currently working.
A total of 291 labourers have been safely rescued and are now at the Army camp. "Rescue operations to locate other labourers are continuing," said Indian Army.
The force said that the rescue operations were launched by the Indian Army immediately after an avalanche hit about four km ahead of Sumna village, a location on Sumna-Rimkhim road in Uttarakhand. This is on the Joshimath-Malari-Girthidobla-Sumna-Rimkhim axis.
A Border Road Organisation (BRO) detachment and two labour camps exist nearby for road construction work along this axis. An Army camp is located three kilometres from Sumna village.
"The area has experienced heavy rains and snow since last 5 days, which is still continuing," the force said.
The road access is cut off at four to five locations due to multiple landslides. Border Road Task Force (BRTF) teams from Joshimath are working to clear slides enroute from Bhapkund to Sumna since Friday evening.
"It is expected to take another six to eight hours to clear this complete axis," the Indian 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 monitoring the situation and has alerted all the stakeholders for rescue operations.
(With IANS inputs)