Uttarakhand glacier burst: Seven killed, over 170 missing; PM Narendra Modi, CM Trivendra Singh Rawat announce compensation

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New Delhi: Uttarakhand on Sunday (February 7, 2021) witnessed a major natural disaster when a glacier burst in the Chamoli district and triggered a massive avalanche. The glacial burst then led to the rising of water levels in the river Rishiganga and washed away the Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 MW.

Uttarakhand glacier burst Emergency Contact Numbers: 1070, 1905 and 9557444486.

The flash flood also affected the downstream hydro project of NTPC at Tapovan on the river Dhauliganga, which is a tributary of the river Alaknanda.

PM Narendra Modi who was constantly monitoring the unfortunate situation approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to the tragic avalanche caused by a glacier breach. He also approved an amount of Rs 50,000 for those who have been seriously injured.

As per the latest reports, at least 7 people have died while over 170 are still missing. However, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the numbers could be higher and announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the deceived.

The rescue and relief operations are underway by the personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

One motorable road and four suspension bridges connecting 7-8 villages in the area with the district headquarters have also been washed away by the avalanche.

The disconnected villages include Gahar, Bhangyun, Raini Palli, Pang Lata, Suraithota, Tolma and Fagrasu.

CM Rawat informed that arrangements have been made to continue uninterrupted supplies of essentials to these villages.

The Indian Army said that it has established a Control Room at Joshimath and informed that four Columns have been deployed towards Mallari Axis, while two columns are on standby. An Engineer Task Force with two JCBs have also been deployed.

“Medical Column with two ambulances deployed. 2 Cheetah helicopters deployed,” said Indian Army.

Notably, 60 persons of NDRF also moved with five-ton load from Ghaziabad’s Hindon to Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport in IAF C130.

“One more C130 and one AN 32 ready at Hindon for NDRF teams. 3 IAF Mi-17 positioned at Jolly Grant to airlift NDRF teams to Joshimath,” said Indian Army.

Earlier in the day, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, met to review the situation.

The Cabinet Secretary directed the concerned agencies to work in close co-ordination and extend all requisite assistance to the State administration. He emphasized the need to account for all missing persons and directed that surveillance should be maintained till rescue efforts are completed and the situation returns to normalcy.

In the meeting, it was further informed that around 12 persons trapped in a tunnel have been rescued by the ITBP, while efforts are on to rescue others trapped in another tunnel, which is being co-ordinated by the Army and ITBP.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that there is no rainfall warning in the region for the next two days.

According to the Central Water Commission, river Alaknanda at Srinagar in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal is flowing much below warning level as the impact of Glacial Lake burst is felt only up to Joshimath.

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