At least 50 workers were feared to be trapped inside a tunnel in Rishiganga are dreaded to be dead after a portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan area this morning and damaged the Rishiganga dam on Alaknanda river. Three bodies have been recovered so far.
Around 150 labourers working at the Rishiganga power project are also feared missing. State Disaster Response Force DIG Ridhim Aggarwal told “Representatives of the power project have told me that they are not being able to contact around 150 of their workmen at the project site.”
All districts are on high alert and people have been cautioned not to go near the Ganga River. The minister had also appealed to people to not spread rumours through old flood videos.
Two Indo-Tibetan Border Police teams, comprising about 200 personnel, had moved to the affected areas from Joshimath. ITBP personnel approach the tunnel near Tapovan dam in Chamoli to rescue 16-17 people who are trapped. As news of the disaster came in, two teams of NDRF rushed from Dehradun to Joshimath, NDRF Director General S N Pradhan said “We are working to airlift three-four more teams from the Hindon IAF base near Delhi.” India Meteorological Department (IMD) says no adverse weather expected in Chamoli, Tapovan and Joshimath of Uttarakhand on February 7 and 8.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was constantly monitoring the situation “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 operations,” Modi tweeted.
West Bengal CM also sends condolences on twitter “Deeply shocked and very saddened at the loss of lives in the disaster that took place in Uttarakhand. My deepest condolences to the families of the deceased. Wishing a speedy and full recovery for those injured in the calamity.”