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Uttarakhand glacier burst search and rescue operation continues

Darpan News Desk Darpan, 09 Feb, 2021
  • Uttarakhand glacier burst search and rescue operation continues

It is a disaster that has shaken the northern part of India. Emergency crews are hard at work as they search for as many as 171 people after a glacier supposedly to have fallen into a river in the state of Uttarakhand creating a huge flood and killing 26 people.

A dam was flooded open due to the force of the water and a deluge rushed through a valley on Sunday. Most of the missing are believed to be workers from two hydropower plants.

The rescue effort is focused on several sites, including a tunnel more than 200 metres long. Over 30 people were apparently trapped inside when the icy water swept down the valley, carrying rocks as it gathered momentum.

According to local media, the tunnel is blocked with slush and debris. There has been no contact with the workers made since the catastrophe happened and officials say it is hard to tell where in the tunnel they are and whether they are together. Hundreds of troops, paramilitaries, and military helicopters have been deployed region to help with rescue efforts.

Rescue workers and locals have been using shovels and other machinery and mechanical equipment to try and clear the entrance to the tunnel. An investigation is continuing into what caused the suspected glacial burst.

An investigation is continuing into what caused the suspected glacial burst. Uttarakhand police said an avalanche struck at about 11:00 local time on Sunday, destroying a dam known as the Rishiganga Hydroelectric Project.

Police said the impact catapulted water along the Dhauliganga river, damaging another power project downstream in the Tapovan area.

Senior police officials said a bridge in the Tapovan area that connected 13 villages was washed away in the avalanche. Food packets were air dropped in some of these villages.

Emergency workers had earlier evacuated dozens of villages, but authorities later said the main flood danger had passed. Emergency crews rescued 16 workers who had been trapped inside a tunnel filled with debris.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also sent his thoughts to the those facing the emergency in Uttarakhand via Twitter.

UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Policy Canada also extended their messages via Twitter over the Uttarakhand calamity.

According to officials between 35 and 40 others were thought to be trapped in a second tunnel. Emergency crews have reached the mouth of the 2.5km tunnel and are in the process of clearing the area with heavy equipment.

Photos courtesy of Twitter.

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