A massive glacier breach took place in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district causing flash floods in the Dhauli Ganga river, large-scale devastation in the upper reaches of the ecological fragile Himalayas. A part of the Nanda Devi glacier is reported to have broken off at Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli leading to wide-spread devastation in the area. Up to 170 people, mostly labourers who were working at a power project in Tapovan-Reni are missing. 7 bodies have already been recovered.
The power project they were working on has also been completely swept away, according to the state Director General of Police Ashok Kumar. Homes along the way were also swept away as the waters rushed down the mountainsides in a raging torrent. DGP Kumar says the situation is now under control.
Rescue operations by the state administration aided by all required central agencies, are underway.
The glacial burst led to the rising of water levels in the river Rishiganga, which washed away the Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 MW.
According to the Central Water Commission, there is no longer danger of downstream flooding as the rise in water level has been contained. There is also no threat to the neighbouring villages.
A snapshot of Zee TV’s coverage of rescue operation.
The concerned agencies of the Centre and the State have been asked to keep a strict vigil on the situation, and a team from DRDO, who specialize in these services and monitor avalanches, is being flown in for surveillance and reconnaissance.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is personally keeping a watch on the situation.
“I am constantly monitoring the unfortunate situation in Uttarakhand. India stands with Uttarakhand, prays for everyone’s safety,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
“Representatives of the power project have told me that they are not being able to contact around 150 of their workmen at the project site,” said State Disaster Response Force DIG Ridhim Aggarwal.
PM Narendra Modi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the tragic avalanche.
Rs 50,000 would be given to those seriously injured.
More than 200 ITBP personnel are on the spot, and one column and Engineering Task Force (ETF) of Army, with all rescue equipment have been deployed.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and assured him of all possible support to deal with the situation arising from the glacier burst and the resulting floods.
A home ministry spokesperson said to deal with Chamoli glacier breach, four NDRF teams (about 200 personnel) were airlifted to Dehradun and would head to Joshimath.
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