As glaciers in Uttarkhand break, flash floods and avalanches occur.
A part of the Nandadevi glacier in Uttarakhand reportedly burst on Sunday, February 7. This occurred in Raini village in the Joshimath area of Chamoli district. The outburst triggered an avalanche and massive flooding in the Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers. This has caused an emergency evacuation of thousands from the surrounding areas.
Chamoli district magistrate Swati S Bhadauria has instructed officials to evacuate people living in villages on the bank of Dhauliganga.
Disaster response and management teams are sent to conduct search-and-rescue and relief operations.
State Disaster Response Force DIG Ridhim Aggarwal said more than 150 laborers working at the Rishiganga power project have been directly affected. The representatives of the power project told that they are unable to contact their workmen.
Uttar Pradesh government has issued a high alert on the districts on the banks of Ganga. The government alert further stated that the water level needs to be monitored 24/7. If the need arises people will be evacuated.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams have been deployed.
Uttarakhand Chief Secretary, Om Prakash said around 100-150 people might have been killed. Authorities fear that many more are still stuck. Authorities are also worried about the safety of laborers at ongoing road and rail projects in the area.
As a precaution, the flow of the Bhagirathi river has been stopped. Alaknanda, Srinagar Dam, and Rishikesh Dam have been emptied.
SDRF's spokesperson, Praveen Alok has stated that the avalanche brought huge muck and debris in the river. The loss of life and property is yet to be fully ascertained.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat took to Twitter to relieve the stress of the people. He stated to not fall prey to rumors. The government is undertaking all possible measures.
He also added the Disaster Operations Centre number - 1070 or 9557444486.