The Indian authorities reported on Monday that 26 people have died and more than 170 are still missing as a result of a strong flood caused by the collapse of a glacier in the north of the country. The incident occurred on Sunday morning in the Chamoli district of Uttarajand state in the Himalayas, causing the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers to overflow.
The sudden rise in the waters has washed away hundreds of people from the surrounding areas and caused severe damage to the Rishiganga Power Station. According to information from the NDTV network, of the disappeared, 148 are workers at the plant. At the moment about 25 people have been rescued, although another 34 are still trapped in a tunnel under the power plant, as explained by the Minister of Energy, Faruq Abdulá Singh.
The police spokesman, Ashok Kumar, has indicated in statements to the DPA news agency that the bodies of 26 people have been recovered throughout the day. For their part, local authorities fear that the overflow has left more than a hundred dead but they have not wanted to verify their estimates pending the results of the rescue operations.
Four Army columns, two medical teams and an engineering task force have been deployed in the area. In addition, seven other dive teams from the Indian Navy are involved in rescue operations.
“Medical teams have been transferred to the affected site. A 30-bed hospital in Joshimath has been kept ready to deal with this emergency. Srinagar, Rishikesh, Jollygrant and Dehradun hospitals are on standby. We are doing everything we can to deal with this disaster, ‘said Uttarajand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transferred his support to the region: “India stands with Uttarajand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety.”