18 people have died and over 200 are still missing after a glacial break in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district triggered an avalanche and massive flooding of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on Sunday morning, forcing the evacuation of thousands, and damaging both houses and the nearby Rishiganga and NTPC power projects. The burst glacier also swept away roads and forced authorities to evacuate villages. National and state disaster response teams have been deployed, as have teams from the ITBP. The Army has sent six columns and the Navy seven diving teams.
170 people - 148 employed at the NTPC plant and 22 at Rishiganga - are still missing. Around thirty others are trapped in a tunnel, reportedly around 2.5 km long, and rescue teams worked through the night to save them. Efforts are still on. Apart from the terrain and Latest News Live Updatesthe low temperature, mud and debris in the tunnel is posing a major challenge for the rescuers.
Meanwhile, India's COVID-19 tally of cases rose to 1,08,38,194 with 11,831 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries surged to 1,05,34,505, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The death count increased to 1,55,080 with 84 daily new fatalities, the data showed.
Here are the Latest News Live Updates:
NCP's national spokesperson Nawab Malik on Monday issued a rebuttal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in the parliament that party leader Sharad Pawar had earlier supported the farm reforms.
Mr Malik said that NCP was not against reforms, but demanded a repeal of the three contentious agri marketing laws.
Citing Sharad Pawar's support for agriculture reforms when he was agriculture minister, PM Modi said in Rajya Sabha, "Those taking a U-turn will perhaps agree with him (ex-PM Manmohan Singh)...Whether they were able to do it or not, but everyone has advocated that it should be done".
Countering the PM, Mr Malik said in a video statement that Mr Pawar had tried to build consensus for a model act when he was agriculture minister (in the Congress-led UPA government from 2004 to 2014).
A makeshift ''informal'' school at Delhi's Singhu border, where farmers have been protesting the new agri laws, has resumed after a two-week break with lesser children, owing to the tense situation following the tractor parade violence on Republic Day.
A group of farmers from Punjab's Anandpur Sahib had in December started the school in a makeshift tent for school going children who had accompanied their parents to the Singhu border protest site and those living in the slums nearby.
Pioneered by writer Bir Singh and advocate Dinesh Chaddha, the temporary school is part of the multiple ''sewa'' practices being offered at the protest site.
A 40-second commercial on the farmers' protest in India was played in California during this year's Super Bowl, an annual football championship watched by millions of people across America.
The commercial, which was aired only in the Fresno county area and not nationally, was posted on social media with several users on Twitter tweeting the commercial. It also mentions that singer Rihanna had tweeted about the farmers' protest in India.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at several Delhi border points since November last year, demanding the government to repeal the three farm laws and legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.
The Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation is investigating the exact reason for the flooding but there are no clear answers yet for a glacier to have melted in the winter.
This was decided at a meeting of the state steering committee for COVID-19 vaccination that was chaired by the Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, according to a government release.
It was decided that the first dose of vaccine, which was to be provided to healthcare workers till Friday, will now be given up till February 19. Those who fail to opt for vaccination by then will be vaccinated with the general population and may not get free vaccination on priority, as per the statement.
The vaccination of frontline workers in the second phase will be completed by the first week of March, it said.
Madhya Pradesh health minister Prabhuram Choudhary, who inspected the site to check arrangements, said the frontline workers who will be covered during this drive include police and revenue department staff.
He said 3.31 lakh frontline workers have registered for the vaccine, and the drive will take place four days a week.
India has become the fastest country to vaccinate 6 million beneficiaries countrywide. This feat was achieved in just 24 days. USA took 26 days to reach this mark whereas the UK achieved this in 46 days: Union Health Ministry- ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2021
A portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district on Sunday, triggering an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system that washed away hydroelectric stations, leaving at 11 people dead and over 200 missing who are feared dead.
"We have noted that northern India had a massive flood. We want to express our condolences to the victims and sympathy to the bereaved families and the injured," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing.
A joint team of NDRF, SDRF & Army is conducting a rescue operation. The team has reached the 130-metre mark in Tapovan tunnel, it may take 2-3 hrs to reach the t-point. Efforts underway to safely rescue those who are stuck in the tunnel: Uttarakhand CM TS Rawat, Joshimath https://t.co/YAAVb8T57spic.twitter.com/EL83wXZGKq- ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2021
A massive operation has been launched to rescue over 30 people trapped inside a tunnel after a glacier burst in Uttarakhand on Sunday and caused flash floods that left 18 dead and over 200 missing.
In the valley it formed a lake which burst later and caused the damage. The data is being analysed by our scientists in detail and if required, they would again go to get more details: Dr LK Sinha, Director, Defence Geo-Informatics Research Establishment, DRDO to ANI- ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2021
Uttarakhand: Union Minister RK Singh reaches Joshimath to take stock of the situation in the wake of the flash floods that hit Chamoli yesterday. The rescue operation is underway.- ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2021
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat says that a total of 203 people are still missing. pic.twitter.com/UCCzClQ6LR
#Uttarakhand#Update: #UttarakhandGlacialBurst- ADG PI - INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) February 8, 2021
The mouth of the Longer tunnel cleared after tireless efforts of #IndianArmy personnel. The operation to rescue the people trapped in a tunnel is underway. pic.twitter.com/dYlRFTvZR7
Rescue operation underway in 2.5 km long tunnel. Problem lies with debris which's gradually being cleared. 27 people alive,11 dead,153 missing. Out of 153, 40-50 are stuck in tunnel. There's a possibility of remaining people being washed away in Uttarakhand: NDRF DG SN Pradhan pic.twitter.com/3IFn3PVlyC- ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2021
ITBP personnel on the rescue mission at Tunnel in Tapovan, #Chamoli, Joshimath. Excavators being used to clear the slush and debris inside the tunnel to open it.#Himveers#Dhauligangapic.twitter.com/UY27li1SVe- ITBP (@ITBP_official) February 8, 2021
J&K: Students of a school in Jammu hold a special prayer for those affected by flash floods in Uttarakhand- ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2021
"We pray to God that all missing people are reconciled with their families as soon as possible," says a student pic.twitter.com/3V5iu3gkc9
No need to spread panic. The glacier burst yesterday, boulders and debris followed which washed away the Raini power project causing a massive impact on Tapovan. All of this happened yesterday. 32 people from first and 121 people are missing from the 2nd project: Uttarakhand DGP pic.twitter.com/Q2b7uYZdlD- ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2021
India's tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 1,08,38,194, with 11,831 new infections being reported in a day, while the daily death count fell below 100 for the fourth time this month, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday expressed support to India after glacier burst left atleast 7 people dead and over 170 missing in Uttarakhand.
Taking to Twitter, Morrison said that Austalia stands with ''one of its closest friends at this very difficult time''.
"Devastating news for India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi following flash flooding in Uttarakhand. Australia stands with one of its closest friends at this very difficult time," he tweeted.
A glacier broke in the Tapovan-Reni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand on Sunday that triggered massive flooding in Dhauliganga and Alaknanda Rivers and damaged houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.
Following the incident, leaders across the world including French President Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Ambassador to India Satoshi Suzuki expressed condolences to the victims of the glacial burst.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh 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," Mr Rawat has said. He added that the government has all the needed assistance to handle the situation for now.
The water level in the Dhauli Ganga river surged up once again on Sunday night under the impact of the glacial burst during the day, creating panic among people living in the area.
The sudden surge in the water level in the Dhauli Ganga at around 8 pm prompted authorities to suspend rescue operations at a project site in the vicinity of the river for the time being.
Rescue efforts, focussed on extricating 30-35 people trapped in the debris clogging one of the tunnels at the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project, will be resumed on Monday morning, the General Manager of the project said.Swirling waters of the river gurgling downwards are causing fear among people living in the area, he said late Sunday night.