Mumbai: Film personalities, including Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Taapsee Pannu, and MP and actor Sunny Deol, on Sunday expressed concerns for the safety of people affected by the flash flood in Uttarakhand after a glacier broke off at Joshimath. A part of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off at Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday, leading to a massive flood in the Dhauli Ganga river causing large-scale devastation.
More than 150 labourers working in a power project are missing, officials said. The flood caused large-scale devastation in the upper reaches of the ecologically fragile Himalayas, with 50-100 labourers working at the Rishi Ganga power project missing. Kumar took to Twitter and wrote, “Terrifying visuals of the glacier burst in #Uttarakhand, thoughts and prayers for everyone’s safety.” Devgn said he hopes disaster response teams are able to “rescue as many as possible”.
“Is it our worst fears on climate extremes that are closing in on us? My thoughts & prayers are with the people of #Uttarakhand at this crucial hour,” he tweeted. Indo-Tibetan Border Police, State Disaster Response Force and other agencies were carrying out rescue operations on a war footing, officials said.
Pannu said it was hurtful to watch these “man induced disasters” unfold right before our eyes. “Nature is getting back at us for toying with it. #UttarakhandDisaster,” she added. “Pray for #Uttarakhand,” Deol said.
Actor Renuka Shahane appealed to people to not indulge in rumours or spread “unsubstantiated videos”. Prasoon Joshi, chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification, said he hopes Chamoli and other districts of Uttarakhand stay as safe from the glacier burst and “no lives are endangered”. “Prayers and strength for the people, the authorities and rescue teams,” the screenwriter-lyricist wrote.
Producer Ronnie Screwvala said the floods were a horrifying display of nature’s fury and wrote about the “callous” approach of people towards climate change. “Force of nature – saddened to see a disaster unfolding #Uttarakhand – except that with all our callous approach to climate change/ global warming – not sure we can call these ‘natural disasters’ anymore!” he wrote.
Actor Dia Mirza, who is vocal about environmental issues, said man-made constructions in the Himalayas contributed to the tragedy. “Building too many dams in the Himalayas has led to this. Prayers for the people of Chamoli,” the “Sanju” actor wrote and shared the helpline number of the Disaster Operations Center.
Actor Shraddha Kapoor tweeted that she was distressed after hearing about the incident and prayed for people’s safety. Following the glacier burst, homes along the way were swept away as the waters rushed down the mountainsides in a raging torrent. There were fears of damage in human settlements downstream. Many villages were evacuated and people taken to safer areas.
“Prayers for everyone’s safety in #Uttarakhand – a big salute to the #ITBP personnel for their bravery,” actor Riteish Deshmukh wrote. Actor Sidharth Malhotra also shared the helpline numbers on his Twitter page. “Sultan” actor Randeep Hooda, like Mirza, observed the environmental impact of human interference with nature. “Man tampering with nature results in disaster. We must be very careful and have more stringent environmental impact assessment #EIA, not less, for ongoing and future infra projects. Prayers for the safety of the people affected,” he tweeted.
Actor Sonu Sood tweeted, “Uttarakhand we are with you.” Several districts, including Pauri, Tehri, Rudraprayag, Haridwar and Dehradun, are likely to be affected and have been put on high alert. Filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor, whose Sushant Singh Rajput-led romantic-drama “Kedarnath” was set against the backdrop of the 2013 Uttarakhand floods, prayed for the well being of people. “Devastating news. May god watch over those in the path of this monster. Hari Om. #Uttarakhand #Chamoli,” the director said.
“Saw some videos of the Uttarakhand disaster just now. It is terrifying to say the least. Breaks my heart to see this devastation happening to such a pretty place. Sending prayers and strength to all those affected,” actor Shreyas Talpade wrote.