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The outbreak of the Uttarakhand glacier leaves seven dead, at least 125 missing; CM Says Numbers Could Be Higher, Announces Compensation | India News


DEHRADUN: Rescuers removed seven bodies from a tunnel while at least 125 people were missing after a glacier explosion in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district triggered a massive avalanche and flooding in the Alaknanda river system on Sunday.
Uttarakhand Prime Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the figures could be higher and announced compensation of 4 lakh rupees to relatives of those killed in the “massive disaster”.
Two power projects, NTPC’s Hydel Tapovan-Vishnugad Project and Hydel Rishi Ganga Project, suffered extensive damage and dozens of workers were trapped in tunnels as floodwaters and sludge rushed in.
Seven bodies have been recovered from one of the tunnels in Tapovan and ITBP and SDRF staff are conducting a search for the rest of the missing persons, Rawat said here upon his return from a visit to the affected areas.
Rawat said at least 125 people, including two police officers, were missing and the numbers could be higher as authorities for the damaged hydel projects are not in a position to give an accurate figure.
All efforts are focused at this time to remove the dreaded trapped inside the other tunnels that are clogged with 35-40 feet of debris, Rawat said.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the personnel of the National Disaster Response Force have penetrated up to 150 meters into the 250 meter long tunnel, but have not been able to contact none of the trapped. employees or workers, he said.
The extent of damage to Hydel’s two projects is being assessed by his administration, he said.
The avalanche also washed away a passable road and four suspension bridges connecting seven to eight villages in the area with the district headquarters.
Disconnected villages include Gahar, Bhangyun, Raini Palli, Pang Lata, Suraithota, Tolma, and Fagrasu.
Arrangements have been made to continue the uninterrupted supply of essential items to these villages, Rawat said.
Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadoriya and Police Superintendent P Yashwant Singh Chauhan are camping at the site, the chief minister said.
There are areas of 17 grams of sabha affected by the avalanche, of which 11 are inhabited, while residents of the rest had moved to lower areas during the winter, Rawat said.
All arrangements are in place to deal with any eventualities, including IAF and private helicopters that are on standby.

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