India's authorities say they will now declare dead a total of 136 people still missing following a flash flood in northern India earlier this month.
A huge chunk of a glacier fell into the Alaknanda river system in Uttarakhand state on February 7 triggering a massive flood that washed away parts of two hydropower plants, roads and bridges in the region.
At least 68 bodies have been recovered after the Himalayan region was hit by one of its worst tragedies in recent years, senior state disaster management official Piyoosh Rautela said.
Anyone still untraced will be declared dead to allow the government to start the process of compensating the families, Rautela said.
This was also being done as families have to deal with legal and property matters after the passing of their kin, he said.
The victims were washed away by raging floodwaters or buried by debris on the river bed.
A multi-agency search and rescue operation has been under way and authorities say search efforts to locate the missing will continue although the chances of finding survivors was remote.
Uttarakhand is an ecologically sensitive region prone to flash floods and landslides. Scientists have been investigating what caused the glacier to burst even as environmentalists blamed the disaster on rampant construction activities and climate change weakening the glacier.
Australian Associated Press