Catastrophic flash floods have occurred in India’s northern Uttarakhand state caused by a glacier burst that fractured two hydroelectric projects. More than 150 people are missing, with 14 confirmed dead.
On Saturday, the deluge surged through the Chamoli district, in the Himalayan state. A force barreling mercilessly over people and constructions alike.
Rescue efforts are being made to save individuals trapped and stranded. The Indian Army as well as India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are among those tasked with rescuing survivors and recovering the bodies of the dead.
Chamoli District Police reported that fifteen people trapped in a tunnel were rescued on Monday. However, a second tunnel is still inaccessible, obscured with debris. Rising water levels are also inhibiting rescue efforts.
The burst is attributed to the glacier’s destabilization from climate change’s rising temperatures. A study issued by scientists in 2019 observed that the region’s glaciers were melting with disquieting haste.
Dinesh Negi, a survivor of the event, recounted his experience to The Associated Press. “It all started sometime around 10 in the morning. We heard a bang, which shook our village…We knew something wrong had happened. We could see the fury of the river.”
The Indian government is receiving criticism for its possible connection to the tragedy. The government pursued construction close to the glacier, possibly influencing the triggering of the flood. Construction came against the warnings of environmental experts who deemed the area unstable due to global warming.
Uttarakhand experienced extensive flooding previously in 2013. The event became known as the “Himalayan tsunami” by the public. Heavy rainfall triggered flooding and landslides, killing thousands of people and destroying countless homes, roads, bridges, and other various structures.