Glacier burst: NDRF’s 8th battalion deployed for search and rescue operations

Published on Feb 07, 2021 07:04 PM IST

Three of the NDRF teams were airlifted while one traveled by road while another team was dispatched from Dehradun.

NDRF team leaving from its base in Govindpuram in Ghaziabad for Chamoli in Uttarakhand.(Sakib Ali/HT PHOTO)
NDRF team leaving from its base in Govindpuram in Ghaziabad for Chamoli in Uttarakhand.(Sakib Ali/HT PHOTO)

At least five teams of the eighth battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been dispatched to carry out search and rescue operations in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district which was hit by flash floods when a portion of the glacier broke off in Tapovan area on Sunday morning, the battalion’s commandant said.

The eighth battalion is based at Govindpuram in Ghaziabad and more teams have been asked to remain on standby.

A major relief and rescue effort is on in Chamoli where a massive flood was triggered in the river Dhauliganga after a glacial burst on Sunday morning. NDRF officials from the eighth battalion said that one of their teams, comprising 40 to 45 members and dog squad, was rushed initially from their regional response centre in Dehradun while the second team departed on Sunday afternoon from Ghaziabad.

“This team was sent by road while three teams were airlifted from the Hindon airbase. In all, five teams were pressed into service and more teams including from the other NDRF battalions have been asked to remain on standby,” said PK Tiwary, commandant of the eighth battalion.

The teams of NDRF are equipped with sophisticated equipment and dog squads which help in search and rescue.

“The teams are equipped with about 310 sophisticated equipment which are used during floods, building collapse and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear emergencies. Since it is a case of flash flood, we will also be using our team of divers and equipment like sonars and boats for detection and rescue. Our teams have also taken relief material for people affected by the incident,” Tiwary added.

The eighth battalion and other NDRF battalions were also a part of search and rescue operations during the 2013 flash floods in Uttarakhand.

Sunday’s flash flood has endangered the lives of thousands of people living along the riverbanks. There are fears of massive destruction. An alert has also been sounded by authorities in Uttarakhand in several districts including Pauri, Tehri, Rudraprayag, Haridwar and Dehradun.

Teams of the Indo Tibetan Border Police were also rushed to the site near the Raini village.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath tweeted that the UP government is standing with the Uttarakhand government for any help or assistance.

“The situation of water level in areas along the river Ganga is being constantly monitored in the state. In case there is a rise in water levels, people near the banks will be shifted elsewhere as the situation demands. Directions have been issued for relief and rescue,” the chief minister’s office said in a tweet.

The UP police also tweeted, “We are in touch with our counterparts. Border distts. of Uttarakhand have been alerted. NDRF, SDRF & flood company of PAC have been instructed to be on highest alert. Evacuation of people shall be done wherever required.”

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