India

Night ops to continue in Uttarakhand, says ITBP; alert in UP: 10 points

The central government on Sunday evening said that the rise in the water level of the river affected by glacier burst in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district has been contained and there is no danger downstream. It also said that there is no threat to other villages and hydroprojects in the state.

Uttarakhand flood: Track live updates

The update came after a review of the situation by both Uttarakhand government and the Centre.

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which is involved in rescue operations along with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), said that it will be carrying out night operations. The force had earlier said that it has recovered around 10 bodies. The SDRF said on Sunday evening that around 170 people are missing.

Here are the latest developments on this big story:

  • Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat held a press conference on Sunday evening after reviewing the situation. He also announced a financial assistance of 4 lakh for families of those killed. “Experts can tell the reason behind the glacier outburst. But our government is right now focused on saving lives of people,” said Rawat.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved an ex-gratia of 2 lakh each from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for families of those killed. He and Union home minister Amit Shah has been in regular touch with the Uttarakhand government and has promised all central help.
  • “We are focusing on second tunnel, that is tunnel number one, we’ve learnt that around 30 people are trapped there. We will be carrying out night operations also. Our teams are already on the job & we hope that we’ll be able to rescue them,” said Vivek Pandey, the PRO of ITBP. The force had earlier rescued 16 people from a tunnel.
  • An emergency meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, was held in New Delhi to monitor the progress in rescue operation. The operation is being coordinated by the Army and the ITBP.
  • A DRDO team of snow and avalanche experts from its newly-created Defence Geo-Informatics Research Establishment will reach Uttarakhand on Monday to assess situation at site. The team will assess the glacier situation around the site of today’s incident.
  • Two C-130J Super Hercules transport plane with three companies of NDRF and 15 tonnes of other loads and equipment was sent to Uttarakhand from Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad. While the first C-130J landed at Jolly Grant airport near Dehradun, the second plane is expected to arrive soon.
  • ITBP chief SS Deswal said that 250 personnel of the force are on the spot. The Army said that two columns from Joshimath and two from Auli have been deployed to the site of the flash flood, while two more columns are on standby. One column of the Army’s Engineering Task Force (ETF), two Cheetah helicopters have also been sent to Raini village.
  • On Sunday morning, a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off, which triggered flash floods in Dhauli Ganga and the Rishi Ganga rivers and also impacted the Alaknanda, one of the tributaries of the Ganga. The glacier burst led to a rise in water levels in the river Rishiganga, which washed away the Rishiganga hydro project of 13.2 MW.
  • The flash flood also affected the downstream hydro project of NTPC at Tapovan on the river Dhauli Ganga, which is a tributary of the river Alaknanda.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday asked authorities in all districts on the banks of the Ganga river to be on high alert and continuously monitor the water level after the natural disaster in Uttarakhand.
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