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Uttarakhand Avalanche: Bodies Of 12 Trekkers Recovered as Search for Others Ongoing

© AP Photo / Manish SwarupPeople wearing face masks trek up to Khalia top as snow clad Himalayan ranges of Panchchuli mountains are seen behind near Munsiyari in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.
People wearing face masks trek up to Khalia top as snow clad Himalayan ranges of Panchchuli mountains are seen behind near Munsiyari in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.10.2021
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On 22 October, a massive avalanche hit the Himalayan village of Harsil in India's Uttarakhand state after heavy rainfall triggered flash floods and landslides in several areas. Several trekker groups who were hiking near Lamkhaga Pass, a trek route in Harsil, have gone missing since then.
A total of 12 bodies of trekkers from two trekking groups, consisting of 11 members each, who had gone missing after the avalanche hit the Lamkhaga Pass route near the Himalayan village of Harsil, have been recovered, an official said on Saturday.
Out of 22 trekkers, six have been rescued; four remain missing.
In the video that is doing the rounds on the internet, a team of disaster management specialists, police and army personnel is seen searching for the missing trekkers, as they speed up the rescue operation.
The first trekking group comprising 11 members had commenced their hike on 11 October from Harsil and were to reach Chitkil in Himanchal Pradesh state.
Uttarakhand state Police Chief Ashok Kumar said on Saturday that out of 11 members from the first trekking group, the bodies of seven members have been found at an altitude of 5,000 meters. While two trekkers have been rescued, two members are still missing.
Five more bodies from the second trekking group of 11 members have been recovered from Lamkhaga Pass, one of the toughest trek routes, which connects Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh state with Harsil in Uttrakhand state. While four trekkers have been rescued, two remain missing.
One of the rescued trekkers - 32-year-old Mithun Dari from West Bengal state - is currently undergoing treatment at the Harsil Army Hospital. He reportedly told his family members that he saw the snowstorm sweeping over others and lost touch with them afterwards.
Meanwhile, the daughter of a missing trekker, Sadhan Kumar Basak, urged the West Bengal state government on Friday to provide more details about their whereabouts.
“My father had last talked to us over the phone three days back. The local administration is not yet confirming the worst, but we have been getting varying reports. I am requesting with folded hands to both chief ministers (West Bengal and Uttarakhand) to trace and bring him back to inform even if it’s the bad news. I just want to see his face," Basak’s daughter to Indian news wire PTI.
The father of another missing trekker, Pritam Roy (27), said “I don’t know if my son is dead or alive, but I want to see him. He can’t be trapped in the snowy caves forever."
Over 52 people have reportedly lost their lives after heavy rainfall since 17 October wreaked havoc in India's Uttarakhand state, triggering incidents of massive flash floods, landslides, and cloudbursts in many regions.
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