The rupture of a glacier in Joshimath in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, which was crossed by the Himalayas, damaged a dam and caused flooding that forced the evacuation of villages from the downstream banks. Authorities point to 100 to 150 deaths and several dozen missing people.
“The actual number has yet to be confirmed,” Uttarakhand’s chief secretary Om Prakash told Reuters. According to the Indian newspaper Times of India, all of the missing persons, around 50, were working on the dam.
Uttarakhand Prime Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that the flow of the Alaknanda River has since returned to normal.
At around 1045 a.m., a disaster was reported in the village of Raini, affecting two dam sites in Chamoli. Immediate instructions were given to take stock of the situation and take immediate action. At the same time, the state’s disaster control mechanism was activated. #Uttarakhand
– Trivendra Singh Rawat (@tsrawatbjp) February 7, 2021
Authorities warned the Chamoli district, where the incident occurred, and the river basins in neighboring Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.