Glacier Bursts in India, Leaving 150 Missing in Floods

Mujib Mashal
Hari Kumar

By Mujib Mashal and Hari Kumar

  • Feb. 7, 2021

NEW DELHI — The Indian authorities were scrambling to evacuate villages and save lives on Sunday after a Himalayan glacier broke and caused sudden, massive flooding in the northern state of Uttarakhand.

Vivek Kumar Pandey, a spokesman for the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, said three bodies had been recovered and that 150 people, many of them workers at a hydroelectric dam project that was largely swept away, were unaccounted for.

“An avalanche came and completely broke the Rishiganga power project, and almost all the workers there are missing,” said Ashok Kumar, the chief of police in Uttarakhand. “By the time the water came downstream, we had alerted people.”

The district of Chamoli in Uttarakhand appeared to have been hit hardest by the surging Dhauliganga River. Amit Shah, India’s home minister, said teams from the country’s disaster response force had been airlifted in. Hundreds of soldiers and members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police were also arriving at the scene, other officials said.”