A part of the Nanda Devi glacier broke and caused massive flooding in the Tapovan area of Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday leading to loss of life and damage to the Rishiganga dam on the Alaknanda river.
It caused large-scale devastation in the upper reaches of the ecologically fragile Himalayas.
According to Defence scientists, a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF), a type of outburst flood that occurs when the dam containing a glacial lake fails, is a near impossibility under present climatic conditions: The area is surrounded by snow-capped mountains with temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius.
“During winters, glaciers are formed as snow doesn’t melt due to the negative temperature. To my understanding, glacier burst in this season is next to impossible. I haven’t studied such an incident in the last 50 years,” said a defence scientist to media.
Rescue operation are underway to release people still stuck in the tunnels. The forces have cleared 90 meter stretch of debris in the big tunnel at Tapovan till now, with about 100 meters of clearing still left to do, according to The Indian Express.
Here are the updates:
Centre monitoring the situation: Amit Shah
Central Govt is monitoring the situation, PM himself is monitoring it. Both the control rooms of the Home Ministry are monitoring the situation round the clock & the state is being provided with all the possible help: Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Lok Sabha (ANI)
93 NTPC workers missing, 39 still stuck in tunnel: Power Minister RK Singh
93 NTPC workers are missing, 39 still stuck in the tunnel, we’re trying to reach them. We are planning to install Early Warning System as a precautionary measure against avalanche,’ Union Power Minister RK Singh (ANI)
Economic loss to be ascertained in due course, priority now is to save lives and rehabilitate displaced people: Uttarakhand CM Rawat
Dropping of food supply underway in Lata and Raini villages. We are helping to take it further from there. Teams of the Indian Army, NDRF, ITBP, and state Police are working in collaboration here: Manoj Rawat, ADG ITBP in Joshimath.
Currently, 32 people from the first tunnel and 121 people from the second one are still missing, according to The Indian Express
Union Minister RK Singh reaches Joshimath to take stock of the situation in the wake of the flash floods.
The forces have cleared 90 meter stretch of debris in the big tunnel at Tapovan till now, with about 100 meters of clearing still left to do.
Multi-agency operation on to rescue those trapped inside tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Tapovan
A multi-agency operation to rescue an estimated 34 people trapped inside a big tunnel at Tapovan was carried out overnight after a glacier burst-triggered deluge killed 10 people in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district while over 140 are missing, officials said
Scientists leave for Joshimath for surveillance
A team of scientists, flown to Dehradun after the glacier burst in Uttarakhand, left for Joshimath area for surveillance and reconnaissance.
Entire Rishi Ganga power project destroyed: DGP
Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar told the media that at the main disaster site, a bridge linking 13 villages located close to the border with China was washed away, the entire Rishi Ganga power project was destroyed, and 46 laborers and five villagers were reported missing.
Himalayan Glaciers Melting Twice As Fast Since 2000: Study
Melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the start of the 21st century due to rising temperatures, losing over a vertical foot and half of ice each year and potentially threatening water supply for hundreds of millions of people in countries, including India, according to a study published in 2019.