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Seven killed, over 170 missing: Uttarakhand’s glacier burst in India

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Glacier
Uttarakhand on Sunday witnessed a major natural disaster when a glacier burst in the Chamoli district and triggered a massive avalanche

NEW DELHI:  At least 7 people have been reportedly died while over 170 people are still missing in Uttarakhand’s massive glacier burst, the Indian media reported here on Sunday evening.

Uttarakhand on Sunday 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.

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, Indian media reported.

CM Rawat informed that arrangements have been made to continue uninterrupted supplies of essentials goods 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 team 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.

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.

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