Uttarakhand flash flood: Amit Shah apprises House of situation

Uttarakhand flash flood: Amit Shah apprises House of situation

Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday informed Rajya Sabha of the flash flood situation in Uttarakhand, saying as of 7 pm on Monday, 20 people were killed and 6 were injured with a further 197 missing.

He said on February 7, a landslide triggered a “snow avalanche” covering approximately 14 sq km, thereby causing a flash flood in Chamoli district.

The good news however, Shah said, was that there was no danger of downstream flooding and the rise in water level had been contained.

Shah said that the avalanche occurred around 10 am in the upper catchment of the Rishiganga river, a tributary of the Alaknanda in Chamoli district. “Due to the flash flood on account of rising of water levels in the river Rishiganga, a functional Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 MW was washed away. The flash flood also affected the under construction 520 MW NTPC Hydro Power Project downstream at Tapovan on the river Dhauli Ganga…It is observed from the satellite data (Planet Lab) of 7th February, 2021 in catchment of Rishi Ganga river at the terminus of the glacier at an altitude of 5600m a landslide triggered a snow avalanche covering approximately 14 sq.km area and causing a flash flood in the downstream of Rishi Ganga river,” Shah said.

He added that multiple state and central agencies, including the Army and Navy, had been pressed into service for relief efforts as well as search-and-rescue. Shah said, “ITBP has set up their control room and 450 personnel of ITBP with all necessary equipment are engaged in rescue and relief operation. Five NDRF teams have reached at the place of incident… Eight teams of Indian Army, including one Engineer Task Force (ETF) are carrying rescue operation at incident site. One Medical column with two ambulances are also deployed. One diving team of Indian Navy has also reached at incident site for rescue operation. Five helicopters of Indian Air Force have also been engaged. A control room has been established at Joshimath.”

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