GUWAHATI: A female mountaineer from Assam’s Guwahati city identified as Deepshikha Hazarika was named amongst the 28 mountaineers who went missing during an avalanche at the Mount Draupadi Ka Danda-II in Uttarakhand on Tuesday.
Her missing status came to fore on Wednesday after the Uttarakhand Police released a list of mountaineers who went missing after being hit by a massive avalanche at a height of 17,000 feet at Draupadi Ka Danda-II peak.
Family members said that Deepshikha Hazarika had left home on September 14 and had contacted with her mother for the last time on September 17. Her father Golap Hazarika is an employee of Gauhati medical college hospital and the family live in Rupnagar area of the city.
Deepshikha was a part of a 41-member team of mountaineers from the Uttarkashi-based Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) and were returning along with their instructors after climbing the peak as part of their advanced training course. At least 10 of the groups were reportedly died in the incident and some 14 were rescued.
A multi agency rescue operation has been ongoing while filing this report to trace the missing members. Search and rescue operations resumed on Wednesday morning with four ITBP jawans dispatched in Cheetah and ALH helicopters to Dokrani Glacier.
The list of missing trainees included participants from West Bengal, Delhi, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh besides Hazarika from Assam.
Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami conducted an aerial inspection of rescue and relief operation being carried out to find the mountaineering trainees.
Uttarakhand government has already announces ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakhs each to the families of the deceased, Rs 1lakh each for seriously injured and Rs 50,000 each for injured, in Uttarkashi avalanche disaster.
Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah have been in constant touch with Uttarakhand chief minister.
What exactly happened?
According to NIM, the climbers moved to the mountain on September 23 following a revision of rock-climbing training at NIM and Tekhla rock climbing training area. It said that the course arrived at Base Camp on September 25.
“As per the training schedule on October 4, the course moved for High Altitude Navigation and height gain to Mount Draupadi ka Danda-II (5670m) at 4.00 am while returning from the mountain peak the Advance Mountaineering Course met with an avalanche occurred above camp-1 in which 34 trainees and 7 mountaineering instructors were caught under avalanche at 08:45 hrs,” NIM officials said.
As soon as they received information about the incident, the ITBP, National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, and local police began the rescue operation.
What causes an avalanche?
An avalanche occurs when a layer of snow collapses and slides downhill. Avalanches are caused by four factors: a steep slope, snow cover, a weak layer in the snow cover and a trigger. While at many times, the trigger happens due to bad weather and natural factors, in some occasions, it’s also caused by human activities. However, it’s yet to be known what causes this particular avalanche.