‘Foreign plot to defame India’s tea-based image’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said international forces were trying to attack India’s tea-based identity, but he did not name anyone. During his poll campaign rally in the tea producing Assam’s Dhekiajuli, Modi was apparently referring to activist Greta Thunberg’s controversial ‘toolkit’, wherein one of the action points was to ‘disrupt yoga and chai image of India’. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l monday l February 08, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 30 l LATE city EDITION CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI At least 10 dead, up to 150 missing in Himalayan glacier break Five bridges washed away, 17 villages totally cut off after a portion of Nanda Devi glacier breaks off; flash floods destroy a couple of power plants in Uttarakhand V i neet U pad h yay @ Chamoli A glacier break that swept into the Rishiganga and Dhauliganga rivers in Reni and Tapovan villages, 26 km from Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, triggered a massive flood and claimed at least 10 lives on Sunday The number . of casualties can rise because nearly 125-150 labourers working at a power project in TapovanReni are missing. Disaster struck around 10 am. A total of 17 villages got totally cut off as five bridges were washed away Residents of seven of these moved . to safer places. People of the 10 other villages are being provided help, said officials. Damages were reported at Tapovan dam on Alaknanda river, while the 13.2 megawatt Rishiganga hydropower project was completely swept away Around 176 . workers were working on these projects. Close to 250 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Army and Air Force joined the rescue work, said Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. The state has announced `4 lakh each for the families of the deceased. “Our efforts are focused on reaching people and providing relief,” the CM said. ITBP rescued 16 people trapped in a tunnel of a dam which is a part of the hydroproject. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Rawat Continued on: P9 and assured all help. Major natural disasters 1991 6.8 quake in undivided UP in October 1991 killed over 760 people 1998 Malpa village in Pithoragarh district destroyed in landslide; 255 people killed 1999 6.8 quake hit Chamoli district killing over 100 people 2013 Cloudbursts in June 2013 in Uttarakhand caused massive floods and landslides. 5,700+ people killed Dhauliganga hydropower project in Chamoli district C ha m o l i ca l a m i t y 1 Part of Nanda Devi glacier breaks off Uttarakhand india 2 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e In a worrying development, 187 students and 78 staff of Maranchery Government Higher Secondary School and Vannery Higher Secondary School in Perumbadappu panchayat in Malappuram tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday . According to the district health department, the tests were conducted among the students and teachers of these schools after a Class X student at Maranchery school tested positive on February 1. “After Rishiganga power plant in Reni swept away Bridge across the mountains destroyed Rishiganga merges with Dhauliganga river Rishiganga River 3 5 Raini Chak Lata 1,388 m Record water level at 11 am in Joshimath area 4 Dhauliganga River The 480 MW NTPC hydel project over Dhauliganga at Tapovan that was extensively damaged | PTI Scary roar out of nowhere from the hills Rescuing of labourers from Tapovan tunnel Dehradun: At Reni village that is at the epicentre of the tragedy, Sandeep Nautiyal was lazing around on a bright and sunny Sunday when he heard a big roar from the hills. He looked around and spotted the horrible avalanche menacingly approaching at least 5 km away. His first instinct was to rush out of his house and alert fellow villagers to flee, shouting ‘Bhago Bhago’. “Suddenly we heard a mix of a roar and a slight tremor. We saw this huge wave coming down the mountains washing off everything in its way,” said Nautiyal. 265 in two Malappuram schools test Covid +ve @Malappuram the student tested positive for the disease, three teachers at the school showed symptoms of the disease. Then, the health department collected samples from 582 students and 50 staff including teachers at the school last Friday,” the department ● More on P5 said in a release. ‘Steps on to stop spread’ Health dept has taken steps to stop virus spread in the schools and nearby areas, says DMO EXPRESS READ More backdoor postings in Sanskrit varsity alleged Kochi: Amid the controversy surrounding the appointment of former MP M B Rajesh’s wife at Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit at Kalady, two more complaints of backdoor appointments in the varsity have surfaced. However, the vice-chancellor has refuted the charges. P4 Woman kills son, says it is a sacrifice to please almighty Palakkad: A woman slit the throat of her six-year-old son at their home in Pudupallytheruvu here on Sunday and told the police that she had sacrificed the child to propitiate the almighty. Shahidha, 32, wife of Sulaiman of Pullakad, killed the youngest of her three children using a kitchen knife. P5 Won’t vacate Pala constituency, says Mani C Kappan Kottayam: Pala is yet again on the boil with NCP leader and MLA Mani C Kappan on Sunday reiterating that he would contest from the constituency, throwing to the wind the so-called truce arrived at by his party and the LDF regarding the formula for the coming assembly elections. P4 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST 30 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) YOUR LIFE COACH Chamoli disaster rings the global warming alarm bell E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Dehradun It was a glacial break alright, but the jury is still out on how and why it actually happened. However, the mismatch between the haste in commissioning projects in the ecologicallyfragile zone and the need to fortify mitigation mechanism suggests it was a disaster waiting to happen. Experts blame it on the lessons not learnt by successive governments, given Uttarakhand’s history of natural disasters. A former glaciologist at Dehradun’s Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, D P Dobhal, called for a detailed probe. “Lake formation must have happened, which breached today and caused the floods,” Dobhal said, adding that heavy sediments in the floodwater indicate an avalanche or glacial debris could have triggered the burst. “It will take time to ascertain the reasons as had happened with the 2013 disaster in Kedarnath,” said Dobhal. The possibility of the incident being glacial lake outburst flood has rung alarm bells. Given that it occurred in winter, it would signal that global warming was a major contributing factor. In 2014, a high-powered committee led by Ravi Chopra, had recommended scrapping of 23 out of 24 hydel projects slated for construction above an altitude of 2,000 metres in the aftermath of the 2013 floods. But the recommendation was not acted upon, said activist P9 Aakash Vashishta.
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08-02-2021 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram