New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The death toll in the Uttarakhand glacial tragedy on Sunday crossed the 50-mark after the rescue officials discovered 12 more bodies from different areas of the Chamoli district.

The officials on Sunday also increased their efforts to rescue the 30 people who are trapped inside a tunnel in Tapovan amid fading hopes of their survival. Giving details about the rescue operation, the officials said that they have cleared sludge up to 114 metres and drilling work is on to reach the silt flushing tunnel.

"Two bodies have been recovered from the tunnel today. Search and rescue operations at Tapovan in Chamoli have been intensified following the recovery of the two bodies," Chamoli District Magistrate Swati Bhadoria while speaking to news agency ANI.

Since last Sunday, rescue workers are working day and night to save those trapped inside the Tapovan tunnel, following the glacial outburst in Chamoli district. Though the hopes of survivors are dim, the officials said that people should not lose patience as all efforts are being made to establish contact with those trapped inside the tunnel.

'Lake formed due to blocking of stream joining Rishi Ganga'

Meanwhile, the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology has said that the debris brought by the avalanche has blocked a stream that joins the Rishi Ganga river forming a temporary lake which if breached can cause further damage in the valley.

"Our scientists are examining the size of the lake, its periphery and the volume of water it contains to ascertain how big and immediate the danger from it is," WIHG director Kalachand Sain while speaking to news agency PTI.

"The catastrophic floods on Sunday also brought sediments in the Rishi Ganga River. Since the width of the river is very less in the upper stretches, the sediments have blocked a stream forming a lake which may breach and cause further damage in the valley," Sain added.

The government has also issued an alert over the formation of the lake has formed a committee which will inspect the lake and submit its report to the district administration at the earliest.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma