- 14 people are dead and 150 people are missing so far in Uttarakhand glacier burst that triggered massive flooding of the Alaknanda river on Sunday morning
- Rescue and relief operation are been carried out by national and state disaster management teams
- A compensation of ₹ 4 lakhs has been announced by the CM of Uttarakhand for those who have lost their lives
After part of a glacier burst in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday, triggering an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system that washed away hydroelectric stations and five bridges where 14 people were killed and over 170 are still missing.
The burst glacier also swept away roads and caused villages to be evacuated by authorities. Teams for national and state disaster management teams were deployed, as were teams from the ITBP. Six columns have been sent by the army, and seven diving teams by the navy.
Here are the 10 latest developments on Uttarakhand glacier disaster:
1. There are already 170 people missing – 148 working at the NTPC plant and 22 at Rishiganga have been missing. Around thirty others, allegedly are stuck in a tunnel about 2.5 km long, and rescue teams have been working through the night to save them. The attempts are still going on. Mud and debris in the tunnel are a big obstacle for the rescuers, apart from the terrain and the low temperature.
2. An Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) team rescued twelve people trapped in an under-built tunnel.
3. As part of the rescue operations, Uttarakhand’s State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) this morning removed the debris and slush in the tunnel near Tapovan dam in Chamoli district. The members of the SDRF had to wait for the level of river to lower to begin rescue operations for people trapped in the tunnel.
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4. NDRF commandant Praveen Kumar Tiwary while talking to one of the leading news channels of the country on the phone said, “At 3am, our team arrived. They have begun rescue operations. We hope for the best, and we do what we do best. We are using the latest equipment and the finest. The land is so rough and the temperature has hit sub-zero (conditions). It is impossible to perform rescue operations in such situations. Yet our team is doing the best it can.”
5. An early survey of the damage caused by the glacier break and flood to the Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower plant shows the dam has been “completely washed off,” Indian Air Force sources said on Sunday. The dam is situated at the confluence of the rivers Dhauliganga and Rishiganga, about 280 km east of Dehradun, the state capital.
6. The bridges that were washed away linked the 13 villages to narrow roads in the hills. Officials said that arrangements are being made for the villagers to airdrop food packets.
7. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawa, who visited Chamoli district on Sunday, declared to the families of those who lost their lives in the tragedy a compensation of ₹4 lakh each and an additional ₹2 lakhs will be given from the National Relief Fund of the Prime Minister, with ₹50,000 for those with serious injuries.
8. On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter wrote, “India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety.” He said he spoke with Mr. Rawat and that “constantly monitoring the situation”. Amit Shah, the Home Minister also tweeted; he said the Modi government stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Uttarakhand.
9. The glacier catastrophe is a grim reminder of the 2013 Uttarakhand monsoon floods that killed 6,000 people and led to calls for a review of state development projects, especially in isolated areas such as those around the Rishi Ganga dam.
10. The increased rate of growth in the region has also heightened fears about fallout from deforestation and other environmental issues.