Published on: 2/7/2021

150 labourers missing, Glacier breaks in Uttarakhand's Chamoli

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The water level in the Dhauliganga river rose suddenly following an avalanche near a power project at Raini village in Tapovan area of Chamoli district.(ANI via REUTERS)

Chamoli glacier burst latest updates: A major tragedy was reported in Uttarakhand's Chamoli on Sunday after a glacier broke in Dhauli Ganga valley in the Joshimath area. Several labourers working at Rishi Ganga hydroelectric power project were reported missing soon after the incident. According to the details, a dam of the Tapovan power project was breached. Reports suggested that the dam has been washed away. Teams of ITBP and SDRF personnel were rushed to the affected areas to rescue the villagers and locals. Meanwhile, the rivers in the region witnessed flash floods soon after the glacier broke. 

Uttarakhand Chief Secretary OM Prakash has said 100 to150 casualties are feared in the flash flood in Chamoli district. Two bodies have been recovered so far, while some of those injured have been rescued, said Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar.

Massive destruction is feared. More than 150 labourers working at the Rishi Ganga power project may have been directly affected, said State Disaster Response Force DIG Ridhim Aggarwal. Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar informed that 16 people who were trapped in Tapovan Dam were being shifted to safer places by Police. Though the impact of the disaster may not be felt in Rishikesh and Haridwar, the towns have been put on alert. Following the glacier breach, a massive flood was witnessed in Dhauliganga near Reni village, where many river bankside houses were flooded. Commenting on the incident, the local police said Rishiganga Power Project has been damaged due breach of a glacier in the Tapovan area and those residing on the bank of the Alaknanda river are advised to move to safe places at the earliest. The disaster was also confirmed by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, who rushed to the spot and said police and disaster management departments have been directed to deal with the situation. "Government is taking all necessary steps," the chief minister said. A video posted by news agency ANI showed water level in the Dhauliganga river rising suddenly  following an avalanche near a power project at Raini village in Tapovan area of Chamoli district. Meanwhile, Rawat has also convened an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation and to supervise rescue and relief operations. 

The Indian Army has deployed its helicopters and moved its troops to assist rescue operations in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli where a massive flood was triggered in the Dhauliganga river after a glacial burst on Sunday. About 100 to 150 people are feared killed and hundreds of labourers, who were working at a power project in the area, are missing, news agency ANI quoted the state’s chief secretary Om Prakash as saying.

Officials have been instructed to evacuate people living in nearby villages as the state government sounded an alert in several areas. Union home minister Amit has said that all the concerned officers are working on a war footing to secure the people. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams from Delhi have also left for rescue operations.
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