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Indian glacial burst: Pakistan expresses condolences

Filed on February 8, 2021
This screengrab from a video shows a massive flood of water, mud and debris flowing at Chamoli District after a portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan area of Uttarakhand, India. — AP

At least 140 people are missing after a glacier burst in Uttarakhand caused massive flash floods

Pakistan on Sunday expressed condolences to the family members of the victims of a glacier burst in India’s Uttarakhand state, which has caused massive flash floods in the state.

In a tweet, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that the country was saddened over the loss of precious lives due to the flash floods in Uttarakhand.

“Saddened over loss of precious lives due to flash floods caused by glacier break-off in Uttarakhand. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims. We pray for the safety and early rescue and recovery of those missing,” he tweeted.

A glacial broke in the Tapovan-Reni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand on Sunday had triggered massive flooding in Dhauliganga and Alaknanda Rivers and damaged houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.

“It is suspected that around 100 workers were at the site out of which, 9-10 dead bodies have been recovered from the river,” said SS Deswal, director-general, ITBP.

The rescue operations had to be suddenly stopped in Dhauliganga due to the rise in the water level of the river, said Yashwant Chauhan, Superintendent Police, Chamoli.

Nearly 180 sheep and goats were believed to have been swept away in the flash flood, said Rawat, adding five locals including three shepherds and two women who were cutting grass had lost their lives in the disaster.

Meanwhile, Tapovan Hydro-Electric Power Dam, also known as Rishi Ganga Project, was completely washed off following a glacier burst, said the Indian Air Force’s initial report as Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) deployed at Joshimath had undertaken recce of affected areas.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister announced an ex-gratia of Rs400,000 each to the kin of those who lost their lives due to the glacial burst.

“We are assuming that around 125 people are missing. The number can be higher,” Rawat said.

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