A day after a glacier burst incident took place in Sumna, Neeti Valley near the India-China border in Chamoli district, the Indian Army informed on Saturday that 291 persons have been rescued so far, adding that rescue operations are still in progress. “291 persons have been rescued so far. Rescue operations still in progress,” said the Indian Army in a series of tweets.
In another tweet, it informed, “A BRO (Border Roads Organisation) Camp came under an avalanche in the afternoon of 23 Apr during heavy snowfall in Sumna area of Joshimath Sector in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. While 55 BRO persons could be mustered at first count, blizzard conditions kept rescue operations at bay till late evening.” It further stated another 150 General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) personnel trapped in the BRO Camp have been rescued and brought to safety during the rescue operation that was undertaken by the Army at night.
Rescue operations are still in progress to search for the persons still trapped under snow or stranded at worksites since late evening. Two bodies have been recovered so far. Mountaineering rescue teams and air efforts are at stand by for further rescue operations, said the Indian Army.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said that he has been in constant touch with the district administration after the glacier burst incident has taken place in Sumna, Neeti Valley near the India-China border in Chamoli district. “A glacier burst has been reported in Sumna, Niti Valley. I have released an alert in this regard. I am in constant touch with the district administration and BRO,” Rawat said in a tweet in Hindi on Friday night.
“The district administration has been instructed to get complete information about the incident. In NTPC and other projects, orders have been given to stop work at night so that no untoward incident occurs,” he added. The Uttarakhand Chief Minister further said Union Home Minister Amit Shah has taken immediate notice of the information of the glacier burst and has assured full help to the state government, besides instructing the ITBP to be vigilant.
“I express my heartfelt gratitude to the Home Minister Amit Shah on behalf of my people for his readiness and sensitivity,” he added. At around 1600 hours on April 23, 2021, an avalanche hit a location about 4 km ahead of Sumna on Sumna – Rimkhim road in Uttarakhand. This is on Joshimath – Malari- Girthidobla – Sumna- Rimkhim axis.
A BRO detachment and two labor camps have been there nearby for road construction work along this axis. An Army camp is located 3 Kms from Sumna (approximately 1 Km short of BRO Sumna detachment). The area continues to experience heavy rains and snow that it has been witnessing for the last five days.
The road access has been cut off at four to five locations due to multiple landslides. Border Roads Task Force (BRTF) teams from Joshimath are working to clear the area en route from Bhapkund to Sumna since last evening. It is expected to take another six to eight hours to clear this complete axis. In February, a glacier burst incident had taken place at Joshimath in Chamoli district, leading to a massive flood in the Dhauli Ganga river and causing large-scale devastation. Over 50 bodies were recovered and hundreds were declared missing.