A glacial burst in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district triggered an avalanche and massive flooding along the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on Sunday morning, forcing the emergency evacuation of thousands from surrounding areas and causing damage to houses and a nearby power project.
Around 100-150 casualties are feared in the flash flood. As per officials at Rishiganga power project, which has sustained heavy damages, around 50 people are missing in Tapovan area of Chamoli. All missing persons are believed to be the labourers working at the dam site. Authorities have sounded a high alert from Chamoli to Haridwar.
Chief minister Trivendra Rawat is expected to make an aerial survey shortly. The CM has convened an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation and to supervise rescue and relief operations.
The massive flood in Dhauliganga and Joshimath which was reported near Reni village, 26 km from Joshimath, destroyed many houses situated on the river bank.
As a precautionary measure, the flow of the Bhagirathi River has been stopped, CM Rawat said. He informed that Srinagar Dam and Rishikesh Dam have been emptied to prevent the flow of water of Alaknanda which has now become normal past Nandprayag. The water level of the river is now 1 meter above normal but the flow is decreasing, said the CM.
The water level in Dhauliganga river rose suddenly following the avalanche near the power project.
Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted and said all possible help would be provided.
“In relation to the natural disaster in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister TS Rawat and I have spoken to the Director-Generals of the ITBP and NDRF. All concerned officers and organizations are working on a war footing to ensure people are safe. NDRF teams have left for rescue ops and all possible help will be provided,” Mr. Shah tweeted.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has asked people not to panic or spread rumours, and stressed that district administration, the police and disaster response teams were dealing with the situation.
“Do not pay attention to any kind of rumors. The government is taking all necessary steps,” Mr. Rawat tweeted Sunday morning, adding that he was on his to survey affected regions.
“If you are stuck in the affected area, if you need any kind of help, please contact Disaster Operations Center number 1070 or 9557444486. Please do not spread rumors from old videos about the incident,” Mr. Rawat tweeted.
While in Assam, PM Modi reviewed the situation in Uttarakhand. He spoke to CM Rawat and other top officials. He took stock of the rescue and relief work underway. Authorities are working to provide all possible support to the affected.PM had travelled to Assam earlier in the day to inaugurate several infrastructure projects. He is scheduled to travel to West Bengal later today. The Prime Minister said that he is being constantly updated about the unfortunate incident in Uttarakhand.
Am constantly monitoring the unfortunate situation in Uttarakhand. India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety there. Have been continuously speaking to senior authorities and getting updates on NDRF deployment, rescue work and relief operation, PM Modi added.