Nine dead, 140 missing in India after broken Himalayan glacier triggers river torrent disaster

NEW DELHI: Nine individuals had been confirmed useless and at the very least 140 missing in northern India, after a Himalayan glacier broke and swept away a hydroelectric dam on Sunday (Feb 7), with floods forcing the evacuation of villages downstream.

Surjeet Singh, a police official, stated 9 our bodies had been recovered to this point amid intensified rescue operations.

The flood was induced when a portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan space of the northern state of Uttarakhand on Sunday morning.

A video shared by officers and brought from the aspect of steep hillside exhibits a wall of water surging into one of many dams and breaking it into items with little resistance earlier than persevering with to roar downstream.

An eyewitness stated he noticed a wall of mud, rock and water as an avalanche roared down the Dhauli Ganga river valley situated greater than 500km north of New Delhi.

“It came very fast, there was no time to alert anyone,” Sanjay Singh Rana, who lives on the higher reaches of Raini village in Uttarakhand, instructed Reuters by telephone. “I felt that even we would be swept away.”

India Himalayan glacier (2)

State Disaster Response Fund personnel put together for deployment in Srinagar of Uttarakhand state on Feb 7, 2021 after a glacier broke off in Chamoli district inflicting flash floods in the Dhauli Ganga river. (Photo: AFP)

Uttarakhand’s Police Chief Ashok Kumar instructed reporters greater than 50 individuals working on the dam, the Rishiganga Hydroelectric Project, had been feared useless although some others had been rescued.

Kumar additionally stated authorities had evacuated different dams to include the water dashing in from the flooded Alakananda river.

Uttarakhand is liable to flash floods and landslides and the most recent disaster prompted calls by setting teams for a overview of energy initiatives in the ecologically delicate mountains.

State utility NTPC stated Sunday’s avalanche had broken part of its Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower plant that was below building additional down the river. It gave no particulars however stated the scenario is being monitored repeatedly.

India Glacier Flooding

People examine the location close to the broken Dhauliganga hydropower challenge at Reni village in Chamoli district after a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in the Tapovan space of the northern state of Uttarakhand, Feb 7, 2021. (Photo: AP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated he was intently monitoring the scenario.

“India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety there,” he stated on Twitter after talking with the state’s Chief Minister Trivendra Singh (*140*).

India’s air drive was being readied to assist with rescue operations, the federal authorities stated, whereas Home Minister Amit Shah stated disaster response groups had been being airlifted in to assist with reduction and rescue. Army troopers have already been deployed and its helicopters had been doing an aerial reconnaissance of the world.

“All the concerned officers are working on a war footing,” Shah stated on Twitter, referring to Uttarakhand by its nickname, the Hindi time period for “land of the gods” – because of the quite a few Hindu temples and pilgrimage centres situated throughout the state.

India Glacier Flooding

A police officer asks pilgrims to depart as ghats alongside the river Ganges are emptied as a precautionary measure in Haridwar, India, Feb 7, 2021. (Photo: AP)

The neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous, put its riverside areas on excessive alert.

Footage shared by locals confirmed the water washing away components of the Rishiganga dam in addition to no matter else was in its path.

Videos on social media, which Reuters couldn’t instantly confirm, confirmed water surging via a small dam web site, washing away building gear.

“Currently no additional water flows are being reported and there is no flood situation anywhere,” Chief Minister (*140*) stated on Twitter.

“No loss has been reported from villages along Alaknanda.”

India Himalayan glacier (4)

This display seize from video offered by KK Productions exhibits an enormous flood of water, mud and particles flowing at Chamoli District after a portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan space of the northern state of Uttarakhand, India, Feb 7, 2021. (Photo: KK Productions by way of AP)


It was not instantly clear what had set off the avalanche at a time when it isn’t the flood season. In June 2013, monsoon rains in Uttarakhand induced devastating floods that claimed shut to six,000 lives.

That disaster was dubbed the “Himalayan tsunami” by the media due to the torrents of water unleashed in the mountainous space, which despatched mud and rocks crashing down, burying houses, sweeping away buildings, roads and bridges.

India Himalayan glacier

Police personnel put together in Srinagar of Uttarakhand state on Feb 7, 2021 after a glacier broke off in Chamoli district inflicting flash floods in the Dhauli Ganga river. (Photo: AFP)

Uma Bharti, India’s former water sources minister and a senior chief of Modi’s social gathering, criticised the development of an influence challenge in the world.

“When I was a minister I had requested that Himalaya is a very sensitive place, so power projects should not be built on Ganga and its main tributaries,” she stated on Twitter, referring to the principle river that flows from the mountain.

Environmental specialists referred to as for a halt to large hydroelectric initiatives in the state.

“This disaster again calls for a serious scrutiny of the hydropower dams building spree in this eco-sensitive region,” stated Ranjan Panda, a volunteer for the Combat Climate Change Network that works on water, setting and local weather change points.

“The government should no longer ignore warnings from experts and stop building hydropower projects and extensive highway networks in this fragile ecosystem.”

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