Guterres says UN stands ready to contribute to ongoing rescue and assistance efforts in Uttarakhand

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February 8, 2021 9:58 AM

The United Nations stands ready to contribute to the ongoing rescue and assistance efforts if necessary, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has he expressed sadness over the loss of life and damage in Uttarakhand

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General reaction to Uttarakhand glacier burstThe Secretary-General expresses his deep condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and Government of India. (Reuters Image)

The United Nations stands ready to contribute to the ongoing rescue and assistance efforts in Uttarakhand if necessary, Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said as the top leadership of the global organisation expressed sadness over the loss of life and damage from the glacier burst and flooding in the Indian state.

A portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday, triggering an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system that washed away hydroelectric stations, leaving at least seven people dead and 125 missing who are feared dead.

The sudden flood in the middle of the day in the Dhauli Ganga, Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers — all intricately linked tributaries of the Ganga — triggered widespread panic and large-scale devastation in the high mountain areas.

Commenting on the glacier burst, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for Secretary-General Guterres, said: “The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the reported loss of life and dozens missing following the glacier burst and subsequent flooding in Uttarakhand state, India, on Sunday”.

“The Secretary-General expresses his deep condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and Government of India. The United Nations stands ready to contribute to ongoing rescue and assistance efforts if necessary,” he said in a statement.

Responding to the statement by Guterres, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said: “Deeply appreciate the sentiments expressed by UN Secretary-General” on the glacier burst in Uttarakhand. Earlier in the day, President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir said that he is closely following the situation in Uttarakhand where the glacier burst resulted in massive flooding, with authorities saying seven bodies have been recovered while at least 125 people are missing.

“I’m closely following the news out of #Uttarakhand, #India, where the breaking of a glacier has led to at least 9 dead & 140 missing. As rescue efforts continue, my thoughts are with @IndiaUNNewYork and the Indian people,” Bozkir said in a tweet that tagged India’s Permanent Mission to the UN.

In response to Bozkir’s tweet, Tirumurti expressed gratitude, saying “we deeply appreciate your sentiments. Thank you.”

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has said that seven bodies have been recovered while at least 125 people are missing.

The glacier burst led to a rise in water levels in the river Rishiganga, which washed away the Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 MW. The flash flood also affected the downstream hydro project of NTPC at Tapovan on the river Dhauli Ganga, which is a tributary of the river Alaknanda

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