New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Uttarakhand's Tibet-bound district of Chamoli on Sunday morning, triggering landslides and massive floods in the Dhauli Ganga, Rishi Ganga, and Alaknanda rivers that left seven people dead and 170 others missing, the State Disaster Management Centre has said.

The rescue work at a 900-metre-long Tapovan tunnel was halted late on Sunday after the water level began to rise again, Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar said, as reported by PIB Bureau. Police have also alerted people near rivel banks in Chamoli after the rise in water level, PTI reported. 

Six people sustained injuries in the incident, while 16 others were rescued safely by a team of Indo-Tibetan Police Force from a tunnel near Chamoli. The ITBP personnel had initiated an overnight operation to rescue 30 people trapped inside another tunnel in the district, the force's PRO Vivek Pandey told news agency ANI. 

"Now we are focusing on second tunnel, that is tunnel number one. We have learnt that around 30 people are trapped there. We will be carrying out night operations also. Our teams are already on the job and we hope that we will be able to rescue them,"Pandey said. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of those killed in the incident, while the Uttarakhand Chief Minister has extended a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the deceased. The death toll is likely to increase as the search and rescue operations by teams of ITBP and National Disaster Response Force is still underway.

Meanwhile, the US State Department has expressed its deepest condolences to those affected by the glacial burst. "We grieve with the family and friends of the deceased and extend our hopes for a speedy and full recovery for the injured," the Department said. Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron too had expressed his solidarity with India, and said his thoughts are with the family of those affected in the incident. 

Hundreds of Indo-Tibetan Border Police and National Disaster Response Force personnel, along with state police officials have been carrying out rescue and relief work at the flood-affected areas. The Uttarakhand government has issued an alert for several districts of the state, including Haridwar, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Pauri, Tehri and Rudraprayag in the wake of the incident. The rescue and relief operations will continue overnight. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja