‘Nature’s fury’: Killer glacier bursts
More than 150 people are feared dead after a glacier broke off in the Himalayas, tumbling into an Indian dam and causing major flooding.
The incident occurred on Sunday morning in the Chamoli district of the northern India state of Uttarakhand, near the border with Tibet.
The state's chief secretary Om Prakash told Reuters up to 150 people were feared dead but "the actual number has not been confirmed yet".
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is "constantly monitoring the unfortunate situation".
Residents in the area have been placed on high alert due to rising water levels.
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Scary visuals coming in from #Chamoli district in #Uttarakhand after a Glacier burst. Many missing and danger levels likely to cross in Srinagar, Rishikesh and Haridwar as well. Stay alert and stay safe everyone. pic.twitter.com/LkGXLYi1w8— Rahul Rawat (@rawatrahul9) February 7, 2021
Am constantly monitoring the unfortunate situation in Uttarakhand. India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety there. Have been continuously speaking to senior authorities and getting updates on NDRF deployment, rescue work and relief operations.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 7, 2021
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Around 600 army personnel have been sent to the region so far to assist.
TheTimes of India has reported three bodies have been found, while work is underway to rescue 16 people trapped inside of a tunnel.
A nearby hydropower project has been swept away completely according to local authorities and it's feared workers at the project have been too.
An eyewitness toldReutershe saw a wall of dust, rock and water surge down the river valley.
"It came very fast, there was no time to alert anyone," he told the outlet.
Biggest story at this time: Terrifying images of glacier break leading massive flooding in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. Extensive damage and devastation expected at several villages. Full coverage on @IndiaToday pic.twitter.com/rzR6ODfJ9y— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) February 7, 2021
Uttar Pradesh, a neighbouring state that is India's most populous, issued alerts for its riverside areas.
Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said he was on the scene with his team monitoring the situation, and that "there is no flood situation anywhere" but the river is flowing a metre above its normal levels.
In a follow up he said there was "no cause for panic" and appealed for people to "not believe rumours".
Prayers in the face of nature’s fury. Today at Chamoli disaster situation after Nandadevi glacier broke down. Status of dam. For disaster emergency contact 9557444486. pic.twitter.com/qDhIvh9HF2— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) February 7, 2021
Originally published as 'Nature's fury': Killer glacier bursts