As rescue operations are on after a glacial burst triggered flash floods in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, a video shared by the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) shows the exact moment a man was pulled out safe from the Tapovan tunnel near the damaged Rishi Ganga power project.
According to news agency PTI, 16 workers were rescued from the tunnel of the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project, after they were trapped there in the flash floods.
In the video, as the man is pulled out, he is greeted by joyous cries. One person can be heard saying, “nayi zindagi (new life)!”
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) February 7, 2021
According to an ITBP official, the glacier fell into the river Rishiganga, exponentially increasing its water level.
“Around 10:45 am, flash floods occurred in river Rishiganga. Due to this, the Rishi Ganga hydro project near Raini village was completely devastated. The BRO bridge on Joshimath-Malaria highway was also completely washed away. There was an NTPC project on river Dhauli Ganga near Tapovan. The entire project was completely devastated,” the official said.
Sources said there were 100 labourers on the barrage at Rishiganga, of which at least 50 are feared dead. The Tapovan Tunnel, where many labourers were trapped, had been completely blocked by debris.
Sources said teams from the ITBP, which has a base at Joshimath, about 26 km from Reni, along with units of State Disaster Response Force are carrying on rescue operations. National Disaster Response Force teams stationed in Uttarakhand have also left for the spot, even as teams from Delhi have been airlifted, sources said.