ISLAMABAD: Rescue teams from the US, Norway and China arrived in Siachen on Sunday. They first reached Skardu and then were transported by helicopter to the Giari sector.
The meteorological office has said that dry weather is likely to prevail in the area for the next 24 hours so there is hope that the excavation process will pick up pace.
According to an ISPR official, the Chinese team is equipped with a radar system that can help trace bodies buried underground. The official added that the Chinese team joined rescuers who were already tunnelling and excavating, trying to reach the accommodation area that was identified by the Army Engineering Corps and geological experts.
The official added that eight US experts besides Norwegian and Chinese rescue teams arrived on Sunday and immediately joined the rescue operation at Giari sector.
Talking about the morale of the troops busy searching for their trapped comrades, a military official said that “All the soldiers participating in the rescue operation are ready to sacrifice their lives for their brothers trapped under the snow, we even see tears in their eyes while operating machines over the roof of Sixth Northern Light Infantry headquarters.”
According to the helpline sources, the German and Swiss experts who have been at the site since five days pointed out three priority points where rescue work was under way.
The experts are of the view that using traditional digging tools instead of deploying heavy machinery at these probable points would be more suitable as the snow and sludge busters were very soft at some points and could react to heavy machinery, resulting in a swamp marsh.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2012.