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More Than 100 Missing After Glacier Crashes Into Dam Causing Catastrophic Flash Flood

by : Julia Banim on : 07 Feb 2021 16:32
More Than 100 Missing After Glacier Crashes Into Dam Causing Catastrophic Flash FloodPA Images/BBC

More than 100 people in northern India are feared missing after a glacier crashed into a dam, resulting in catastrophic flash floods.

The incident happened in the state of Uttarakhand, in an area approximately 500km (310 miles) north of New Delhi. Those in surrounding villages have reportedly been evacuated, however officials have warned that more than 125 people could have been caught in the torrent.

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The breakage led to water and debris crashing into the Dhauligana river valley, leading to the destruction of homes, power stations and roads. Authorities reportedly issued an advisory urging those living on the banks of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers to head to safer locations immediately.

Sanjay Singh Rana, who lives near to the Dhauli Ganga river, told Reuters:

It came very fast, there was no time to alert anyone. I felt that even we would be swept away.

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Nine bodies have now been recovered, police official Surjeet Singh told the AP News, and a operation to rescue some 17 people trapped in a tunnel is now underway.

As per the Mail Online, Uttarkhand state police chief Ashok Kumar said:

There were 50 workers at Rishi Ganga plant and we have no information about them. Some 150 workers were at Tapovan.

About 20 are trapped inside a tunnel. We are trying to reach the trapped workers.

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The majority of those reported missing are said to be employees at two power projects located close to the breached dam in the Tapovan area.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tweeted that he is ‘constantly monitoring the unfortunate situation’, adding, ‘India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety there’.

The area of Uttarakhand is known to be prone to flash floods and landslides, and environment groups are now calling for power projects to be reviewed in the ecologically sensitive mountains.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Asia, floods, India

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Associated Press and 2 others