More than 177 people are feared missing while 18 were killed after a glacier melt caused a dam to burst in the Indian Himalayas.
Flash floods swept through 13 villages in Uttarakhand after a part of a glacier broke away which sent water, rock and dust down a mountain valley into a small hydro electric dam called Rishiganga and damaged the Tapovan Vishnugad plant, a bigger one further downstream the Dhauliganga river.
Around 2500 were living in the villages affected by the floods while mine and dam workers in the area were also affected by the deluge.
Uttarakhand’s police chief Ashok Kumar reported that 20 bodies have been found so far while rescue teams are still searching for 177 people.
Heavy equipment and snifffer dogs have been deployed to the area to help with the search.
Kumar said that there are 35 workers that were probably trapped in the tunnels of the Tapovan Vishnugad during the flooding.
Rescue teams are now reportedly drilling the workers out of the Tapovan Vishnugad tunnels which are 2.5km long.
Ashok said rescuers had drilled 150m into the tunnel but debris and slush were slowing their progress.
Uttarakhand’s state chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that the number of missing people is increasing steadily as the search continued.
“We expect to carry on operations for the next 24 to 48 hours,” explained Satya Pradhan, the chief of the National Disaster Response Force.
Editors Note: Story “INDIA-GLACIER-BURST” corrected on 08.02.2021 08:51. The previous version contained a minor typograpical error.
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