US condoles loss of lives in Uttarakhand flood

Washington, Feb 9 (FN Agency) The US on Monday extended deepest condolences over the loss of lives due to the glacier burst in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. “Our thoughts are with our Indian friends and partners during this challenging time. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and we hope for a successful rescue effort and a speedy and full recovery for the injured,” the US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a press conference.

As many as 171 people are still missing due to the glacial lake outburst flood that struck Raini village in Chamoli district on Sunday, leaving a trail of destruction in the area. Among those missing are labourers who were working at project sites. The bodies of 26 people have been recovered so far from different places, Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar said. Relief and rescue operations, involving Army, Airforce, ITBP and NDRF teams, were continuing on a war footing. Scores of hutments and residential houses were washed away in the flash floods, triggered by the breach of a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier at around 1045 hrs Sunday, flooding the Alaknanda river. The gushing river water uprooted hundreds of trees that came in its way. A 13.3 MW Rishiganga Power Project plant was completely destroyed.