The massive incident has sparked panic in India, when hundreds were missing in the affected area. The fall of the dam, and thus the subsequent flood through the Dhauliganga river valley, have been caused by the partial breakage of the Nanda Devi glacier in the Tapovan area of the northern state of Uttarakhand on Sunday morning. The nearby Rishiganga hydropower plant on the Alaknanda River has been completely destroyed whilst the Dhauliganga hydro project has experienced major damage along with villages in the area. The partial collapse of the glacier came less than two days after it was hit by an avalanche.
BBC News’ Ben Brown said: “150 people are still missing after a crumbling glacier caused flash flooding in northern India.” The vast majority of the missing are workers from the two nearby power construction project sites near the dam in the Tapovan area. The emergency crew that has been called onto the site had saved 16 workers who had been trapped inside a tunnel that had been filled with debris and so far 7 others have been found dead. At the moment officials and experts have already evacuated thousands from the nearby areas whilst many more are still being evacuated. The army has been put on standby as the country has been classified as geologically sensitive and the death toll may end up rising significantly. In addition, Uttarakhand has been put on a high alert.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that the government is “constantly monitoring the unfortunate situation in Uttarakhand”. The incident is still being investigated by experts.
For more information, a video of the dam fall and other footage shared by the locals, check out the links below:
Image credit: ITBP Twitter