Uttarakhand glacier disaster: 26 bodies recovered, rescue operations to find around 200 under way
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that breaking of the glacier may have caused the disaster.
Over 200 people were still missing on Monday and 26 bodies were recovered after part of a Himalayan glacier broke off in Uttarakhand and led to flash floods.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that breaking of the glacier may have caused the disaster. He said that experts from the Indian Space Research Organisation, the Defence Research and Development Organisation and other agencies were being roped in.
Massive search-and-rescue operations were under way, with officials working to save NTPC workers who are stuck inside a tunnel at one of the affected hydropower plants.
The helpline numbers released by the government are: 1070/9557444486
Here are the day’s updates:
9.03 pm: AS Rathore, the chief engineer of Shivalik Border Roads Organisation, says they have requested the state government to install a manual trolley in Joshimath’s Reni village, where a bridge was washed away on Sunday, reports ANI.
9.01 pm: A joint team of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Indian Army, State Disaster Response Force and National Disaster Response Force continues its rescue operation in the Tapovan tunnel, reports ANI.
8.57 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat holds meeting with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, Uttarakhand Police and other agencies in Joshimath on rescue efforts in Tapovan, reports ANI.
“All four forces are working in coordination,” he says. “Rescue operation is underway.”
8.40 pm: Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar says that 26 bodies have been recovered till 8 pm and 171 people, including 35 trapped in a tunnel are missing, reports ANI.
7.55 pm: The Uttarakhand Police say that bodies of 24 people have been recovered from different places after a glacier burst in Uttarakhand led to flash floods, reports ANI.
6.10 pm: Uttarakhand CM TS Rawat says that a joint team of NDRF, SDRF and the Indian Army is conducting rescue operations. “The team has reached the 130-metre mark in Tapovan tunnel, it may take two to three hours to reach the T-point,” he adds, according to ANI.
Efforts under way to safely rescue those who are stuck in the tunnel.”
6.08 pm: One of the people rescued from Tapovan tunnel says those trapped were inside when someone shouted “move out. “Before we could leave, water entered tunnel at high speed and we got stuck,” he tells ANI. “Held tunnel crown until water level subsided. Had lost hope but ITBP saved us.”
6.06 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat reaches Joshimath to review relief and rescue operations, according to ANI.
6.03 pm: The Jharkhand government issues helpline numbers for the state’s residents stranded in Chamoli, ANI reports.
6.01 pm: More than 30 people from Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district working at a hydro project in Tapovan are missing after the flash floods, reports PTI.
5.56 pm: Defence Geo-Informatics Research Establishment Director, DRDO, Dr LK Sinha says his team conducted an aerial survey of the glacier where the Chamoli incident occurred. “Prima facie it looks that a hanging glacier broke away from the main glacier and came down in the narrow valley,” he tells ANI.
“In the valley it formed a lake which burst later and caused the damage. The data is being analysed by our scientists in detail and if required, they would again go to get more details.”
5.23 pm: Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel provide support to the villages that have been cut off due to the flash floods in Chamoli.
5.21 pm: State Disaster Relief Force personnel carry out relief work.
5.19 pm: Union Power Minister RK Singh says the avalance has caused an estimated loss of Rs 1,500 crore to the NTPC’s 480 megawatts Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project, reports PTI.
“The project was scheduled to be commissioned in 2023,” he says. “But there is a question mark now on how long it will take to desilt it as lakhs of tonnes of silt is lying at the project site.”
5.18 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat conducts a review meeting on disaster relief operation and releases Rs 20 crores from the State Disaster Response Fund for relief and rescue operations, reports ANI.
5.14 pm: CM Rawat says Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in constant touch with him and has offered all possible help, reports PTI. He adds that many states have also offered help and that he is monitoring the relief work himself.
5.11 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat says comprehensive analysis is being done to find the reasons of the incident and build plans to avert future tragedy, reports PTI.
He adds that ration kits is being provided by the Uttarakhand government to those displaced from their homes.
5.10 pm: CM Rawat says the economic loss from Sunday’s incident will be ascertained in due course, reports PTI. Priority now is to save lives and rehabilitate displaced people, he says.
4.56 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat says breaking of glacier is likely to have caused the Chamoli incident, adding that experts from the Indian Space Research Organisation, the Defence Research and Development Organisation and other agencies are being roped in, reports PTI.
3.22 pm: Indo-Tibetan Border Police Additional Director Manoj Rawat says 13 villages have been cut off due in areas such as Malari and Ghansali, ANI reports. “There is heavy deployment of ITBP there near the India-China border,” he adds. “We have alerted them.”
3.18 pm: The Uttarakhand Police say that 202 people are missing after the flood.
3.10 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says the whole country is with the people of Uttarakhand and it is important that relief operations in the state are not hindered over the next few days. ‘With all my heart, I am with the affected people, “I am with those affected with all my heart and pray for their safety,” he tweets.
3.06 pm: Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh, who is on a visit to Uttarakhand, says the government will monitor glaciers through remote systems or by setting up posts nearby, ANI reports.
3.03 pm: The Indian Air Force sends Mi-17 and Chinook helicopters from Dehradun for Joshimath to help with rescue and relief operations.
2.59 pm: Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar says the workers missing after the flood are most likely from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, ANI reports. “I have been contacted in this regard that 30 of these people are from Lakhimpur Kheri (in UP),” he adds.
2 pm: Union minister RK Singh reaches Joshimath to take stock of the situation, reports ANI.
1.59 pm: The Geological Survey of India says it is planning to constitute a team of experts who will visit the site, undertake a physical recce and use the data that is available through satellite imageries.
1.56 pm: The Geological Survey of India says that prima facie, the cause of the incident is a glacial calving in the upper reaches of Rishiganga and Dhauligagna areaa, reports ANI.
12.45 pm: Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar says 19 bodies have been recovered so far, The Indian Express reports.
12.39 pm: Relief materials are being delivered to the affected villages
12.36 pm: Pradhan adds that rescuers are facing difficulties because of the tough terrain. “By road, only two teams could manage to reach Joshimath, the remaining teams were airlifted,” he says. “It’s difficult to predict how long, but rescue operation can possibly take 24-48 hours.”
12.29 pm: SN Pradhan, director general of the National Disaster Response Force, says over 150 people are still missing. :Rescue operation is underway in 2.5 km long tunnel,” he says, according to ANI. “Problem lies with debris which is gradually being cleared. 27 people alive, 11 dead, 153 missing. Out of 153, 40-50 are stuck in the tunnel. There’s a possibility of remaining people being washed away in Uttarakhand.”
10.50 am: Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal says the Indo Tibetan Border Police is now engaged in rescuing people from the second tunnel which is three kilometres long, ANI reports. “NDRF and military are also on it. By afternoon we can expect some positive results.”
10.48 am: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat says 11 bodies have been recovered so far, ANI reports. He adds that more people are stuck in another tunnel. “We weren’t aware of a subsidiary company’s project Tapovan till yesterday [Sunday],” he says. “We’re estimating that 35 people are stuck in another tunnel. Rescue operation [is] underway.”
10.42 am: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says that the organisation stands ready to assist India in the rescue and relief efforts after the flood in Uttarakhand.
“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the reported loss of life and dozens missing following the glacier burst and subsequent flooding in Uttarakhand state, India, on Sunday,” Guterres’ Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric says in a statement. “The Secretary-General expresses his deep condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and Government of India.”
10.40 am: Scientists from the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), who were sent to Dehrudun on Sunday, leave for Joshimath to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance in the aftermath of the glacier burst, PTI reports.
10.33 am: A video shows Indo Tibetan Border Police personnel clearing a tunnel in Joshimath.
9.23 am: Visuals showing the rescue operation underway for the second day in Chamoli district.
9.21 am: Kumar says that 12 people were rescued from a smaller tunnel in Tapovan on Sunday. “Efforts are underway to open the bigger tunnel,” the police official adds. “Debris are being removed from it.”
9.17 am: Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar says 153 persons are missing, reports ANI. “The glacier burst yesterday, boulders and debris followed which washed away the Raini power project causing a massive impact on Tapovan,” he adds. “Thirty-two people from first and 121 people are missing from the second project. Of these, 10 bodies have been recovered so far – three from Tapovan and seven in the route to Karnprayag.”
7.30 am: The toll from the glacier break in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand goes up to 10, as more bodies were recovered, reports News18, quoting Indo Tibetan Border Force spokesperson Vikas Pande.
7.29 am: The Tapovan Hydro-Electric Power Dam, also known as Rishi Ganga Project, was completely washed off following the glacier burst in the Chamoli district, says an initial report by the Indian Air Force, according to ANI. The report adds that two bridges at the entrance of Malari valley and near Tapovan are also washed away, while the main road between Joshimath and Tapovan is intact.
“Construction work and hutments on valley bottom are damaged,” the report states. “Rubble was seen from the entrance of Nanda Devi glacier till as down as Pipalkoti and Chamoli along Dhauliganga and Alaknanda.”
7.28 am: A team of scientific experts will visit the affected areas to investigate the exact cause of the glacier break.
7.20 am: Eight bodies have been recovered from Dhauliganga in Tapovan area of Chamoli district, reports ANI.
7.15 am: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat late on Sunday night said the situation was under control as rescue operations continued through the night. “Our soldiers are also engaged in rescue operations at night,” he said. “The personnel of SDRF, Army and ITBP are constantly monitoring the situation arising out of the disaster and are taking all necessary precautions.”
7.13 am: Visuals of State Disaster Response Force members undertaking rescue operations through the night to save people stuck in a tunnel near the Tapovan Dam.
7.10 am: Indo Tibetan Border Police Force personnel carry persons who were rescued from the tunnel near Tapovan dam.
7.05 am: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Sunday announced Rs 4 lakh compensation for the family of those killed after a glacier break at Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district led to an avalanche and massive floods.
Uttarakhand glacier burst: 125 missing, CM announces Rs 4 lakh compensation for family of those dead
Here are the top updates from Sunday
- A glacier break in Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district led to an avalanche and massive flooding on Sunday in the upper reaches of the ecologically fragile Himalayas. Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash told ANI that 100 to 150 people may have died due to the flash floods.
- The flooding took place along Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers. A witness said he saw a wall of dust, rock and water as an avalanche roared down a river valley.
- The National Crisis Management Committee said that a 13.2 megawatt hydropower project in the Rishiganga river was washed away in the glacier burst. The committee also said that there was no danger of floods in the downstream areas as the water level has been contained.
- Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said teams from the police, the Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, as well as from the national and state disaster response forces, had been deployed and “are doing their best to save the lives of the workers at sites affected by the disaster”.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was constantly monitoring the situation. “India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety there,” he tweeted.