Uttarakhand Glacier Breaks: 10 Dead, 179 Missing

Ten people were killed and 170 are still missing, after a glacier break at Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district triggered massive flooding of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on Sunday. Many villages were evacuated as floods swept away five bridges, damaged homes and the nearby NTPC power plant, and washed away a small hydro power project near Rishiganga. Six people were injured. National and state disaster response teams have been deployed, as have teams from the ITBP. The Army has sent six columns and the Navy seven diving teams. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety.” 170 people – 148 employed at the NTPC plant and 22 at Rishiganga – are still missing. Twelve People trapped in an under construction tunnel have been rescued by an ITBP team. Around thirty others are trapped in a second tunnel, reportedly around 2.5 km long, and the ITBP will work through the night to save them, spokesperson Vivek Pandey, said. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said seven bodies had been found at a construction site. Mr Rawat who visited Chamoli district earlier in the day, said rescue teams were “doing their best to save the lives of the workers”. He also said a team of scientific experts would work to establish the exact cause of the disaster at a later stage. Mr Rawat also announced Rs 4 lakg compensation for the family of those killed. An extra Rs 2 lakh will be given from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, with Rs 50,000 for those with serious injuries. PM Modi tweeted to say he had spoken to Mr Rawat, and said: “Am constantly monitoring the unfortunate situation… India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety there.” Home Minister Amit Shah also tweeted; he said the Modi government stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Uttarakhand.

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