By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 24 Apr: Chief Minister, Tirath Singh Rawat, took an aerial survey of the Manari Valley Sumna, Joshimath, in district Chamoli today where a glacial burst was reported yesterday due to an avalanche. He took stock of the situation during his survey and also spoke to the army and ITBP personnel in order to gather further detailed information of the incident. It may be recalled that the Manari Valley near Sumna, in Joshimath in district Chamoli, yesterday faced a glacial burst triggered by an avalanche. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) workers were trapped there and were rescued by the Army and ITBP teams, and taken to their camps. However, at least 10 persons were reported to have died in the glacial burst, while 391 BRO workers were reported to have been rescued. Eight persons are still reported to be missing.
After his aerial survey and after his discussion with the army officials, Chief Minister Rawat told media persons in Chamoli this morning that about 400 BRO workers were working in Sumna where the glacier burst occurred. The Chief Minister said that out of these 391 people have been rescued and taken to the Army and ITBP camps and were completely safe. Condition of around 7 workers was stated to be serious and they have been admitted to the Army hospital. By the time, CM spoke to the media, there were reports of 6 dead and injury of 4 BRO workers.
However, the death toll had gone up to 10 by Saturday evening. Earlier, speaking to the media in district Chamoli, the Chief Minister said that Army and ITBP teams were engaged in relief and rescue work on the spot. The SDRF had reached the disaster site and that some of the NDRF teams were also on their way. He added that the district administration was also engaged in rescue and relief since Friday. NDRF teams had also been put on alert mode in Ghaziabad.
At least ten persons died after a glacier burst in the Sumna area of Niti Valley in Chamoli district. The Indian Army on Saturday recovered the bodies and managed to rescue at least 384 others who were working at a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) camp in the area till late last evening. Last night, bad weather conditions had halted the rescue operations which resumed this morning. It was told that the Army was trying to locate more people in batches.
According to an Army communiqué an avalanche hit a location about 4 km ahead of Sumna on Sumna- Rimkhim road in Uttarakhand”, which is on the “Joshimath-Malari-Girthidobla-
Sumna-Rimkhim axis on Friday where BRO was engaged in some road construction work. A BRO detachment and two labour camps existed nearby for road construction work along this axis. An Army camp is also located 3 Km from Sumna. This region had been experiencing heavy rains and intermittent snowfall for past 5 days. As soon as the information of the avalanche reached the army, a rescue operation was launched by the Army. . As many as 384 labourers had been safely rescued and were relocated to the Army camp. Rescue operations to locate other labourers at both camps were continuing. The Army added that the road access was cut off at four to five locations due to multiple landslides, and Border Roads Task Force teams from Joshimath were working to clear landslides en route from Bhapkund to Sumna since last evening. Road clearing was expected to take another few hours.
The officials also said that in a night rescue operation undertaken by the Army, another 150 General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) personnel stuck in the BRO Camp were rescued and brought to safety”. It may be recalled that GREF works under BRO. However, as the bad weather made it difficult for the rescue work to continue last night and had to be halted and this was resumed today morning. Army Brigadier Krishanu Shah, after visiting the affected area, said that there was an avalanche twice in the Sumna-2 area. 384 BRO workers have been safely rescued. Seven injured have been admitted to the Army Hospital in Joshimath by helicopter. The injured were brought from the disaster-hit Sumna by an army helicopter to Joshimath, from where the injured have been admitted to the army hospital. Shah said that the army had deployed two helicopters in the disaster-hit area. Due to heavy snowfall on the Joshimath-Malari highway, the facility to bring and take the necessary materials from the helicopter has been provided.
Meanwhile in a tweet last night, Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat informed that he had informed the Union Home Minister in respect of the incident and that Shah had assured the state of all help in rescue and relief operations. It may be recalled that the glacial burst incident has occurred in the same region where flash floods had killed a large number of workers and locals in February this year.