Apart from the terrain and the cold, mud and debris in a tunnel are posing a major challenge for rescuers in the Uttarakhand Glacier Disaster.
After a portion of a glacier burst in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday, causing an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system, which washed away hydroelectric stations and five bridges, 14 people were killed and over 170 are still missing. Roads were also washed away by the thawing ice, forcing officials to evacuate villages. National and state emergency management teams, as well as ITBP teams, have been deployed. The Army has dispatched six columns, while the Navy has dispatched seven diving teams.
The following are the ten most recent updates on the Uttarakhand glacier disaster:
- 170 people are still missing, including 148 at the NTPC plant and 22 at Rishiganga. Thirty others are believed to be stuck in a 2.5-kilometer-long tunnel, and rescuers worked through the night to free them. Efforts are still being made. Apart from the terrain and the cold, the rescuers face a big challenge in the tunnel due to mud and debris.
2. An Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) team rescued 12 people stuck in an under-construction tunnel.
3. As part of the rescue operations, Uttarakhand’s State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) removed debris and slush from the tunnel near Tapovan dam in Chamoli district this morning. To begin rescue operations for the people trapped in the tunnel, SDRF members had to wait for the level of a river to drop.
4. “At 3 a.m., our team arrived. The rescue operations have begun. We are hoping for the best and doing whatever we can. We’re using the most up-to-date and cutting-edge technology. The terrain is extremely rugged, and temperatures have dropped below freezing (conditions). It is impossible to perform rescue operations in such circumstances. On the phone with NDTV, NDRF commandant Praveen Kumar Tiwary said, “Our team is doing its best.”
5. According to Indian Air Force reports an early assessment of the damage caused by the glacier break and flood to the Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower plant shows the dam has been “completely washed off.” The dam is about 280 kilometers east of Dehradun, at the confluence of the Dhauliganga and Rishiganga rivers.
6. The washed-away bridges linked the 13 villages to the narrow roads in the hills. Officials have said that food packets would be airdropped to the villages.
7. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawa, who visited Chamoli district on Sunday, declared that the families of those who died in the tragedy would receive compensation of Rs. 4 lakh each. The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund will contribute an additional 2 lakh, with 50,000 reserved for those who have suffered severe injuries.
8. “India stands with Uttarakhand, and the entire country prays for their safety.” On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent out a tweet. He claims to have spoken with Mr. Rawat and to be “constantly monitoring the situation.” Amit Shah, the home minister, also tweeted that the Modi government was standing shoulder to shoulder with the citizens of Uttarakhand.
9. The glacier tragedy serves as a chilling reminder of Uttarakhand’s 2013 monsoon floods, which killed 6,000 people and prompted calls for a review of development projects in the state, especially in remote areas like those around the Rishi Ganga dam.
10. The region’s rapid growth has heightened concerns about the consequences of deforestation and other environmental issues.