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Uttrakhand CM to seek ISRO help to find cause of Chamoli glacier disaster

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Dehradoon: Uttarakhand glacier burst that wreaked havoc and caused massive damage to life and property on Sunday, left the whole nation and environmentalists in shock. To be prepared for such tragedies in future, Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Monday directed chief secretary Om Prakash to seek help of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to study the cause of the calamity.

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As per reports, the disaster has so far killed 11 people while 201 are still missing. Meanwhile, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), so far has rescued 15 people from the Rishiganga dam site and 12 from NTPC’s Tapovan dam site. The development was confirmed by chief minister’s media coordinator, Darshan Singh Rawat.

According to Praveen Alok, media in-charge, 70 SDRF personnel, two teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 425 personnel of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), one team of Seema Suraksha Bal and 125 army personnel are carrying out the rescue and relief operations in the affected areas of Chamoli.

“Apart from this, 400 ITBP personnel, 220 army personnel and three army choppers are on standby. Choppers are stationed at Joshimath,” he said.

He also informed that search operation is on for recovering bodies downstream at Reni village, Tapovan, Joshimath, Ghochar, Karnprayag , Rudraprayag, Dharidevi and Srinagar.

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Furthermore, to understand the cause of the calamity, Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology has already sent two teams of experts to study what exactly happened in Rishiganga catchment area which led to the flash flood.

Director of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology Dehradun, Kalachand Sain said, “One team will be led by Manish Mehta and another team by Amit Kumar. We want to understand whether the glacial lake burst led to allof the flooding or damaged the Rishiganga dam, which then added to the quantum of water in the flash floods. But prima facie it seems the glacial lake triggered the whole thing. And what is intriguing is that such a glacial outburst happens in the summer.”

After bridge collapsed in Raini village during glacier burst, around 13 villages have been cut off near areas such as Malari and Ghansali. There is heavy deployment of ITBP there near the India-China border.

Sa far, a joint team of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Army, Uttarakhand’s State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel, Indian Army, have entered the NTPC’s 900-metre long Tapovan tunnel in Chamoli for rescue operations. Also specialised teams of Indian Air Force, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) have reached the spot for surveillance, special reconnaissance. Navy’s diving teams have also been kept on standby for flash flood relief operations.

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