Nearly 150 people are still missing and many feared to have been killed and as many as 14 bodies have been recovered after the tragic incident of flash flood following a rupture in the glacier in the Rishiganga in Chamoli of Uttarakhand on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of victims and Rs 50,000 each for those seriously injured in the Chamoli avalanche.
CPI MP Binoy Viswam has given a suspension of business notice under rule 267 in Rajya Sabha over the flash floods in Chamoli, Uttrakhand.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant of the Indian cricket team has announced a donation of his match fee from the ongoing first Test against England to contribute towards the rescue efforts.
Rescue operations to save people stranded inside a tunnel near Tapovan Dam in Chamoli district is underway while 12 people have already been rescued from another tunnel, said Vivek Pandey, Indo-Tibetan Border Police’s (ITBP) spokesperson on Monday. The ITBP has deployed 300 personnel to carry out rescue operations at the tunnel.
The ITBP had rescued 12 people from a tunnel yesterday. Thirty more are trapped in a different tunnel mentioned above. The rescue operation is underway in different areas. More teams will be sent there if it is required, we are focussing on rescuing people from the tunnel first, ITBP spokesperson Vivek Pandey said.
A total of 15 people have been rescued and 14 bodies have been recovered from different places so far, Chamoli Police, Uttarakhand, told reporters.
Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar urged the people not to spread panic. Boulders hurtled down the hills following the glacier burst yesterday, which washed away the Raini power project causing a massive impact on Tapovan. The DGP said 32 people from the first and 121 people later were found missing from the second project. Out of these, 10 bodies have been recovered so far — three from Tapovan and seven in the route to Karnprayag, the officer said. Twelve people were rescued from the smaller tunnel in Tapovan yesterday. Efforts are underway to open the bigger tunnel after removing the debris, Kumar said.
Confirming the figures from the police statement, DIG Sector HQ of ITBP Dehradun Aparna Kumar said that the bigger tunnel had been cleared with the help of earthmovers up to 70-80 m. It is around 180 m long and about 30-40 workers are trapped since yesterday. Efforts are underway to rescue them.
After tireless efforts of Indian Army personnel, including members of its Engineering Task Force, the mouth of the tunnel was cleared. Work continued throughout the night with earthmovers by installing generators and search lights. Field Hospital providing medical aid at the incident site, the army said in a statement.
Indian Air Force helicopter conducted sorties into Uttarakhand for insertion of rescue teams commenced before first light. Reconnaissance of higher reaches to detect avalanche threat underway, the army said.
A team of scientists of DRDO-SASE, flown in last night to Dehradun, reached Joshimath area this morning for surveillance and reconnaissance, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
In a message to his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering said, “Sending prayers for the souls lost to the Uttarkhand flood and wishing courage to those who are fighting the disaster. May those who are still missing be found in good health. We are with you, dear friends in India.”