A great tragedy has occurred in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand today in which a glacier situated in the Dhauli Ganga valley in the Joshimath area collapsed. Meanwhile, hundreds of personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Rescue Force (SDRF) have been dispatched to the surrounding areas to begin immediate extraction of any locals stuck.

The nearby areas have also been flooded due to the large amounts of water released by the glacier. These include the Dhauliganga and Alaknanda river basin. Cities like Rishikesh and Haridwar are in a state of emergency, though the likelihood of the floods affecting them is low. Seven Indian Navy Diving Teams are on standby for Uttarakhand flash flood relief operations, said Navy officials.

The Uttarakhand police said that people located in and around the affected areas are advised to evacuate as quickly as possible. The Rishiganga Power Project has also been damaged and contact with around 150 employees working there has been lost. 16 people who were trapped in Tapovan Dam are being shifted to safer places by Police, said the Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar. 

Also read: ‘It revealed a lot’: S Jaishankar on farmers protest’s toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg

Prime Minister Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind also took to Twitter to express their grief about the natural disaster.

Also read: Myanmar coup: As US considers imposing sanctions, all eyes on India to clarify its position

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat stated that the efforts of the police and disaster management departments have been diverted towards the situation. Rawat is also surveying the situation on the ground. The rescue operations are being carried out with utmost vigour and the flow of the nearby Bhagirathi River has been halted.

Also read: US calls for recognition of ‘Kashmir American Day’ on Feb 6: NY State Assembly passes resolution