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Uttarakhand flash flood; the story so far

26 dead and hundreds missing in Chamoli disaster

Uttarakhand is going through the worst phase after Kedarnath floods of 2013.  Rescuers have found about 26 bodies from flood hit areas of Chamoli district. Authorities have announced more than 170 people missing. The rushing waters have washed away homes, cut off 13 villages, damaged two major dams, and snapped crucial road links and bridges that connect far-flung areas in the mountainous region.

The story so far on Chamoli disaster:

Most of those missing are workers at the two power plants. It is inferred that they are trapped in a U-shaped 2.7-kilometre tunnel in Tapovan. And this tunnel is filled with mud and rocks when the flood hit.At least 1,000 disaster response including  military and paramilitary personnel worked to clear a 1.7-km tunnel in the badly hit National Thermal Power Corporation’s 530 MW Tapovan Vishnugrad project. Around 35 people are still stranded in waist-deep muck. 12 people stuck in a small tunnel at the NTPC dam site had been rescued by the response team.

Two helipad activation teams of Indian Air Force Air Traffic Control and Meteorological personnel are deployed at Joshimath and Gaucher for coordination. This is to assist the high availability disaster recovery (HADR) operations. Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has directed SDRF to release ?20 crore funds to carry out rescue and relief operations in the state.

Looking at the satellite images, Scientists in the United States suggested it was a landslide onto a glacier which led to debris flooding the river. On contrary, a group of Indian scientists said there was no landslide or avalanche. Instead what Indian scientists pointed out is the possibility of a glacial lake that led to the breach.

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