Accessibility links

Breaking News

Scores Feared Dead After Himalayan Glacier Burst 


People walk past a destroyed dam after a Himalayan glacier broke and crashed into the dam at Raini Chak Lata village in Chamoli district, northern state of Uttarakhand, India, February 7, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer NO ARCHIVES. NO RESALES.

Officials say more than 140 people are missing and feared dead, after a large piece of a Himalayan glacier in northern India broke off and slammed into a dam early Sunday, flooding the Dhauli Ganga River and forcing the evacuation of downstream villages.

Authorities say at least nine bodies have been recovered in the unfolding incident.
Footage from the area shows floods of gray glacial water and debris traveling through a valley and surging through the dam in the northern state of Uttarakhand.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, “India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety there.”

More than 2,000 people were deployed in a search-and-rescue operation in the valley, including members of the military and police.

The floods destroyed a hydroelectric plant on the Alaknanda river and damaged another on the Dhauli Ganga river. The two rivers flow out of the Himalayan mountains and meet before merging with the Ganges river.

The Associated Press reported that a spokesman for the Indo-Tibetan Border Police said as many as 200 plant workers were missing or trapped in tunnels at the plants.

Scientists have pointed to global warming as the reason the glacier broke in the first place.