Union home minister Rajnath Singh left for the site at 6.30pm on Wednesday, accompanied by secretary (border management) in the home ministry and IG, NDRF. He will review the rescue work along with the district administration and meet the affected people.
Of the seven NDRF teams rushed to Malingaon soon after the district administration sent in a request at 10.45 am, two reached the spot first after covering a 5-km muddy stretch on foot. The remaining five teams were still negotiating the muddy stretch towards the evening. Two more teams of the NDRF pre-positioned at Andheri Sports Complex, Mumbai, left for Malingaon in the afternoon and are expected around midnight. Another six teams have been kept on the stand-by in Gujarat, and will be rushed as and when reinforcements are required.
All the nine teams assigned for the rescue operations comprise doctors and paramedics, besides personnel trained as medical first responders. These teams are carrying state-of-the-art rescue equipment and communication sets. In addition, two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are helping the forces with the rescue work.
Though rescue operations may slow down at night, a senior NDRF officer told TOI that the teams will continue to look for survivors in the houses still left standing in the foothills.