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Uttarakhand tragedy: Lake formed near Rishiganga poses danger

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Dehradun, Feb 12: While Uttarakhand is recovering from the tragedy caused by the devastating flash floods, experts said a stream forming a lake which may breach and cause further damage in the valley.

Uttarakhand tragedy: Lake formed near Rishiganga poses danger

First identified by local villagers and Dr Naresh Rana, a geologist at the Garhwal University, the lake poses a serious threat to the ongoing rescue operation also it could lead to another flash flood in the area.

The debris brought by the avalanche in Uttarakhand earlier this week has blocked a stream that joins the Rishi Ganga river forming a temporary lake which if breached can cause further damage in the valley, said a report by the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology.

According to the Central Water Commission, the lake formed on river Rishiganga has a length of 350m and height of 60m with a slope of 10 degrees.

According to its director Kalachand Sain, a team of scientists from the institute conducted an aerial survey of the upper reaches of the Rishi Ganga just a day after the Sunday avalanche and spotted the new glacial lake there.

Meanwhile, Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauria said an eight-member team of the scientists of the Geological Survey of India has been formed to inspect the lake and submit its report to the district administration at the earliest.

On February 7, flash floods triggered by a probable landslide in the higher reaches of the Himalayas led to massive destruction of life and property, including the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) power plant at Chamoli's Tapovan area. As many as 36 bodies have been recovered so far and around 197 people are still missing. Rescue operation at the Tapovan tunnel is underway to rescue the 35 people trapped inside the tunnel.

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