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What lies beneath: 50,000 cubic m of water in new Chamoli lake

THEY NOW have a quantity. The lake that was fashioned upstream of the Rishi Ganga river after the February 7 flash floods in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, holding the potential of a recent deluge, is between 8 metres and 9 metres in depth at completely different factors, and incorporates about 50,000 cubic metres of water.

In a joint operation Saturday, an Indian Air Force Advanced Light Helicopter winched divers from the Indian Navy into the lake to measure its depth. As the helicopter hovered 14,000 ft above sea stage, the divers plunged into the ice-cold water with handheld echo sounders to calculate the depth. In a launch, the Navy famous the complexity of the operation, together with holding the choppers regular in the tough terrain.

According to a Navy official, the operation lasted round half-an-hour, beginning with the take-off from Joshimath to succeed in the lake, positioning of the helicopter over it, the dive into the waters to file the depth at a number of spots, and the return to Joshimath.

Following the operation, Uttarakhand officers mentioned, they assessed the quantity of water held in the lake at 50,000 cubic metres. An official mentioned the Navy had measured depth at 5 spots in the lake, and calculated the typical depth at round 8 metres.

“The data is important as earlier we were not able to assess the volume of water in the lake,” mentioned Ridhim Aggarwal, DIG, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and Additional CEO, Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority. The information may even assist scientists decide the strain exerted by the water on the wall holding it, officers mentioned.

Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauria mentioned that with the Navy submitting its report back to scientists tenting close to the lake, additional motion will likely be taken as per their determination. The Navy staff had been known as in to evaluate the scenario as time was of the essence and there was no street entry to the lake, officers mentioned.

Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal mentioned two Navy groups are stationed at Joshimath and 5 groups are on standby for the Chamoli operation.

The SDRF Sunday additionally put in a Quick Deployable Antenna System close to the lake, with video-call facility, to assist speedy communications between the scientists and different officers given the shortage of cell community in the realm. The QDA System will live-stream the scenario on the opposite floor.

Currently, there are 10 scientists on the lakeside camp, together with from the Defence Research and Development Organisation, Geological Survey of India, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology and Uttarakhand Space software Centre. Apart from that, seven SDRF personnel are tenting on the web site to maintain a watch on any risk because of the lake.

Aggarwal mentioned the QDA would assist them preserve a watch on the waters from the bottom station and higher information the staff on the spot. She mentioned whereas the water is slowly getting discharged from the lake by way of a channel in the mean time, they’re “widening that channel for better outflow in a controlled manner. We will also explore possibilities of creating more channels.”

Noting that the quantity of water was enormous, Prof Y P Sundriyal of Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University’s Geology Department mentioned the wall holding it was made of silt, sand and clay. “If it has not broken so far, it can be assumed there would be no sudden blast-like break off,” Sundriyal mentioned, whereas advising the administration to make sure that water is drained from it in bigger portions quickly.

The toll in the tragedy is now as much as 68, with six extra our bodies recovered. The district administration mentioned 136 individuals are nonetheless lacking.

With inputs from ENS, Chandigarh

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