Uttarakhand Glacier Bursts, Disrupts Life, Many Die, Dozens Missing


A glacial break reported in the Tapovan-Reni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand in India has likely led to massive flooding in Rishiganga river on Sunday, damaging houses and the nearby Rishiganga hydro project. Close to 150 people were reported missing with seven bodies recovered by rescue teams, and over 35 people were trapped in a tunnel blocked by debris at an NTPC project.

Uttarakhand glacier burst Live Updates: In the aftermath of the Uttarakhand glacier burst, 19 bodies have been recovered till now, Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar said on Monday. As of this morning, 32 people from the first tunnel and 121 people from the second were missing and rescue operations to recover people still trapped in the tunnels are underway.

A multi-agency rescue operation including — Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) — is in full swing to release people still stuck in the tunnels. The forces have cleared 90 meter stretch of debris in the big tunnel at Tapovan till now, with about 100 meters of clearing still left to do.

At least 18 people are dead and 200 missing after a piece of a Himalayan glacier fell into a river and triggered a huge flood in northern India.

The floodwaters burst open a dam and a deluge of water poured through a valley in the state of Uttarakhand. Most of the missing are believed to be workers from two hydro power plants in the area.

Hundreds of troops, paramilitaries and military helicopters have been sent to the region to help with rescue efforts.  Experts are investigating – it is not yet clear what caused the glacial burst.

To take stock of the situation, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat Monday visited Chamoli district and said that saving lives was their first priority. Speaking to media persons, Rawat said that they would be successful in clearing the entire debris stretch by today evening. Yesterday, Rawat  announced Rs 4 lakh financial assistance each for the families of those killed in the mishap.

The glacier burst took place at the Rishiganga power project  after a portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan area of Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday morning and damaged the Rishiganga dam on Alaknanda river.

Speaking to news agency ANI, CM Rawat informed that a joint team of NDRF, SDRF and the Army is conducting a rescue operation. Briefing on the rescue work being carried out, he said the team has reached the 130-metre mark in Tapovan tunnel and it may take 2-3 hours to reach the T-point. Rawat added that efforts are underway to safely rescue those stuck in the tunnel.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in constant touch with the state government since the tragedy struck and has assured all possible help for Uttarakhand, said Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Monday, while adding that he himself is monitoring the relief work. Speaking to PTI, he said the Centre as well as many states have offered help.

Ration kits are being being provided by the Uttarakhand government to those displaced from their homes, the CM informed. Asserting that priority is to save lives and rehabilitate displaced people, he said economic loss as a result of the tragedy will be ascertained in due course.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat informed that preliminary estimates show around 200 people missing, while bodies of around 11 people have been found. Speaking to PTI, he said comprehensive analysis is being undertaken to find reasons of incident and build plan to avert future tragedy. He said breaking of glacier seems to have caused the Chamoli tragedy and added that experts from DRDO, ISRO and other agencies being roped in.

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