Dehradun: Rescuers fear hypothermia in people stuck inside the tunnel as they race against time to take them out. The number of missing people in the Uttarakhand disaster has been pegged at 206.
The sudden flood in the Alaknanda river system in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday is thought to have been triggered by an avalanche or glacier burst.
The flash floods three days ago was due to hanging glacier collapse, as per an initial study by scientists at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology. The study also suggests that rock mass weakened over a period of time due to freezing and thawing of snow that possibly led to the creation of a “weak zone”, resulting in the formation of a temporary dam that breached, causing the deadly floods. The glaciers feed the Rishiganga river, which meets the Dhualiganga river.
“The event happened in a hanging glacier, adjacent to Raunthi glacier, which originates from Raunthi/Mrigudhani peak (6,063 metres above sea level),” Kalachand Sain, director of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, said.
So far, 32 people have been confirmed dead with six more bodies being recovered, officials said Tuesday. The rescue operation involves around 600 rescue personnel.