The panic phone calls made by a woman to her son helped not only save his life but 25 others on the day a glacier broke down initiating a flood in Uttarakhand, reports Times of India.
The 27-year-old Vipul Kaireni, who works as a heavy motor vehicle driver at the NTPC hydropower project in Tapovan, got repeated calls from his mother asking him to move away from the barrage. However, Vipul ignored his mother’s frantic calls.
Mangshri Devi, the mother of Vipul Kaireni, kept on calling her son, to inform him that she had seen a flooded Dhauliganga headed his way. Although initially he ignored the warning of his mother, after her repeated calls he was convinced, and then Vipul and other workers rushed towards a dilapidated staircase and took shelter there. Vipul had got married just two months ago, and his wife also saw surging water along with her mother in law.
“Our village is located at a height. My mother was working outside when the flash flood descended. Had it not been for her warning, I and around two dozen of my colleagues would be dead by now,” Kaireni said after escaping from the wrath of river Dhauliganga last Sunday.
Mother informed Vipul about increased water levels in river Dhauliganga
Vipul had left his village Dhaak situated near Tapovan project on Sunday to work for an extra day. ‘On a regular day we get paid Rs 600, but earn double that amount on Sundays. I had gone to work last Sunday to make some extra money’, Vipul said. He received a call at around 10.35 am from his mother who asked him to run.
“At first, I only heard her shouting and did not take it seriously. I asked her to stop joking, saying mountains don’t just burst. She called me again and pleaded with me to move. My mother and wife Anita had seen the water rise 15m over its normal height and engulf everything in its wake. We all ran towards the staircase and it saved our lives,” Kaireni said.
Another worker at the Tapovan project, Sandeep Lal, who hails from the same village, said Devi’s call saved him. He recounted the panic situation saying, “I was inside, fixing a fault in an electricity line. When Vipul called, I ran outside. I owe my life to Vipul’s mother and have learnt never to ignore a parent’s warning.
Lal, who is an electrician said many were saved from that call. Over 100 friends of Sandeep and Vipul are missing.
“They (friends) all have been swept away. The staircase, which we used to reach to safety, was filled with muck when they realized the flood was coming. They couldn’t use it,” Kaireni said. Tapovan village pradhan Kishore Kaniyal lauded Devi’s presence of mind.
A massive flood occurred in Uttarakhand on 7th February after the water level in Dhauliganga river rose suddenly due to the break down of a glacier near a power project at Raini village in Tapovan area of Chamoli district.
More than 100-150 people may have been dead or severely injured due to the flash floods caused due to the breaking down of a glacier near a power project at Raini village in Tapovan area of Chamoli district.
The flooding occurred due to cloudburst and the subsequent breaching of a reservoir near Raini village that destroyed many river bankside houses in the area.