125 bodies recovered from Kedarnath, say rescuers

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Around 125 bodies were recovered from the flood-devastated Kedarnath area of Uttarakhand Tuesday and it is feared that many more bodies could be buried under the debris, said NDMA vice chairman M. Shashidhar Reddy.

Reddy said the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has so far rescued around 6,000 people, including around 120 stranded from Sukhi Top area.

"It is feared that more bodies are under the debris," Reddy said at a news conference.

He said that at a meeting held Tuesday morning on the Uttarakhand situation, chaired by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth, it was asked if the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) can detect bodies buried under the debris.

"We have instruments to detect humans who are alive, by their heartbeat... We can't detect people who are dead," said Reddy.

He said when the NDRF went to Japan to help with the 2011 earthquake-tsunami rescue, they were able to find a lot of bodies under the debris. "So they may be able to attempt" locating buried bodies, the official added.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the heavy rains and floods that hit Uttarakhand, especially the temple town of Kedarnath, a week ago. Thousands of stranded people, including pilgrims, have been rescued from the area.

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