Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, who visited Chamoli in wake of the deluge following a glacier burst on Sunday, said that over 125 people are missing and the number is likely to rise further.
He said that the army, ITBP and National and State Disaster Relief Force personnel are undertaking relief and rescue operations in the affected area. He also announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the families of all the deceased.
Addressing the media, Rawat said: "30 people are missing from the Rishi Ganga project only and the company is not able to give exact number as their documents are also missing."
On the government response to the tragedy, he said: "We have all the expertise... Our main priority to rescue more people and save lives."
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured all possible help, he had called twice. I also got calls from Home Minister Amit Shah and President Ram Nath Kovind," Rawat said.
The Uttarakhand CM said that the incident occurred between 9.30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and the cause of the glacier burst will only be know after the experts analyse what had happened.
He said that a high alert had been sounded on the banks of the Ganga.
Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday approved an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the tragic avalanche caused by a glacier breach at Chamoli in Uttarakhand.
The incident occurred after the water level in Dhauliganga river, one of the six sources of the Ganga river, suddenly surged on Sunday morning following an avalanche near the Rishi Ganga power project. The 85 km river meets the Alaknanda river at Vishnuprayag at the base of Joshimath mountain in Uttarakhand.
The ITBP said that the flash flood occurred in Rishi Ganga at around 10.45 a.m. due to a glacier falling into it and exponentially increasing the volume of water.
Due to this, the Rishi Ganga hydro project was completely devastated, it said.
Two C-130J Super Hercules (military transport aircraft) with three companies of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 15 tonnes of other loads and equipment were sent from Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad for rescue operations.
Seven Navy diving teams are on standby for the flash flood relief operations in the state, said the Indian Navy officials.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs is monitoring the situation after the water level in the Dhauli Ganga River increased following the avalanche.
(With inputs from agencies)