Search operation: Excavation work accelerated

Higher temperatures in Giari spark fears of further landslides.


Sumera Khan April 20, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


As the search and rescue operation at Siachen enters its 13th consecutive day, excavation work has been accelerated due to unfavourable weather report for the next 24 hours.


According to a military official from the engineer corps taking part in the operation, excavation work at Giari has been speeded up in the face of landslide fears following a rise in temperature. Already, the temperature had been higher than normal over the last four days, he said.

In addition, the official said, protective measures were being undertaken and concerned authorities were notified hour-by-hour in this regard.

At the same time, the search operation continues at all sites with all available resources. Some 495 people, including 83 civilians, along with 29 engineering machines are employed at the sites.

Rescuers have managed to complete tunnel access from five points, despite harsh weather conditions. Digging was also commenced at four new points on Thursday. The military official informed The Express Tribune that in addition to the latest equipment, explosives were also being used to break through rock.

According to an ISPR update on the rescue operation, ground penetrating radars along with relevant experts had been dispatched to Giari. The seven-member Norwegian team, meanwhile, has carried out a survey and is preparing a map of the area. The team remains in Giari and is assisting Pakistan Army in the operation. The team of US experts, however, left Giari on Wednesday after completing all its tasks.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2012.

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