At least 15 persons have been killed and over 150 are missing after a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday, triggering an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system.
The sudden flood in the middle of the day in the Dhauli Ganga, Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers — all intricately linked tributaries of the Ganga — triggered widespread panic and large-scale devastation in the high mountain areas.
Two power projects – NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project and the Rishi Ganga Hydel Project – were extensively damaged with scores of labourers trapped in tunnels as the waters came rushing in.
Here are the latest updates:
Search and rescue operations under way in Chamoli
A joint team comprising the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the National Disaster Response Force personnel (NDRF) are continuing the search operation for trapped labourers.
“The work of removing slush from the 2.5-km-long tunnel at Tapovan is still under way. JCB has been deployed. Three NDRF teams had joined the rescue operations earlier along with canine search squads. More personnel are being air lifted using MI-17 helicopters,” said NDRF Director-General S.N. Pradhan.
Uttarakhand Director-General of Police Ashok Kumar told the media that following the glacier burst, boulders and debris caused massive damage to the Raini power project. In all, 32 people from the first and 121 people from the second project were missing.