The death toll from Saturday's (11 August) dam collapse which devastated the Indian town of Morvi in Gujarat State, could go as high as 25-thousand.
The death toll from Saturday's (11 August) dam collapse which devastated the Indian town of Morvi in Gujarat State, could go as high as 25-thousand. Relief workers and troops are finding more bodies each day, buried under thick mud or covered by the debris of buildings swept away in the water.
SYNOPSIS: As troops and relief workers continue the task of hunting for more bodies in the mud and debris of what used to be the industrial town of Morvi .. a macabre argument broke out over what to do with the bodies found so far. Volunteer organisations helping to shift the debris want to carry out mass cremations to speed relief work and to prevent the spread of disease. Four days after the dam burst sending a two metre (six feet) wave of water through the town ... bodies and rotting animal carcases still lie in the streets. Police are insisting on completing the necessary legal formalities before handing over unclaimed bodies for cremation.
Officially the death toll has been put at one-thousand, but local authorities say that's ridiculous. The unofficial estimate says 25-thousand people may have died ???. Many were trapped in their homes ... others were buried in the thick mud.
Much of the town of 60-thousand people was flattened by the swirling water. Sixty per cent of the towns buildings, including houses and factories were either destroyed or damaged, and Morvi's main bridge was swept away. As the task of evacuating survivors continued army medical teams moved in to help the injured. Food and supplies of clothing are also starting to reach the town, but many relief convoys are being held up by the vast exodus of refugees.
Along with the food and clothes have come medical supplies. Survivors are being inoculated amid fears of a major Cholera epidemic, in the worst hit areas. As well as Morvi a number of surrounding villages were also swamped when the dam burst. The Gujarat State government has ordered a judicial enquiry into the collapse .. amid criticism that it failed to warn people the earth dam was in danger of bursting after heavy monsoonal rains. There have also been claims of a 24 hour delay between the disaster and the arrival of the first rescue teams. The enquiry was called with the knowledge that several similar dams have been built in other districts.