Uttarakhand Director-General of Police (DGP) Ashok Kumar on Thursday informed that DNA samples of the bodies recovered after the glacier burst incident in Chamoli district are being preserved by the state officials.

“We are preserving DNA samples of the recovered bodies. Out of total dead bodies recovered, we have so far identified 10 bodies. All our officers including DIG Law and Order, SP Rudraprayag — they taking care of the identities of the dead bodies using Whatsapp. Last rites will only be performed after preserving the DNA of the bodies,” DGP Uttarakhand told ANI.

On the issue of the ongoing rescue operation, the DGP said, “We were undertaking rescue operation in the big tunnel to remove debris till yesterday. We have also started drilling in a smaller diameter tunnel to see what is inside. But it has been suspended temporarily as the machine broke down.”

This comes as rescue operations were underway inside the Tapovan tunnel in Chamoli district. Around 30 people are feared trapped inside the tunnel. A total of 35 bodies have been recovered from different areas hit by the glacier burst in Chamoli district, while 204 people are still missing.

The DGP further said the rescue operation has temporarily halted in Chamoli district following a rise in the level of water in the Rishiganga River. “Orders have been given to vacate the areas downstream,” he added.

A glacial broke in the Tapovan-Reni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand on Sunday, which led to massive flooding in Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers and damaged houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that on February 15 and 16 light rainfall is likely over northern parts of Uttarakhand.

“Weather forecast for Uttarakhand: Under the influence of a fresh feeble Western Disturbance, light rainfall (upto 1 cm)/ snowfall (upto 10 cm) is likely over northern parts of Uttarakhand on 14th and 15th February 2021,” the IMD tweeted.