NEW DELHI, India
More than a dozen bodies have been recovered and over 200 people are still missing a day after a portion of a Himalayan glacier broke in northern India, leading to a massive flood, a local authority said on Monday.
A portion of Nanda Devi glacier, India’s second-highest mountain, broke off in the Tapovan area of the Chamoli district in the Uttarakhand state, triggering flood and damaging the Rishiganga hydropower project.
According to a bulletin released by the Uttarakhand government, 18 bodies have been recovered and 202 people are missing as of Monday noon (0630GMT).
A massive rescue operation was launched Sunday with photos and videos shared on social media showing a massive flood and extensive damage to villages.
The Indian Air Force said Monday that “aerial rescue and relief missions have resumed.” India airlifted specialized rescue teams, including special marine commandos, to join the operation, with authorities deploying the army in the rescue mission.
The missing are mostly laborers of the power projects.
National Disaster Recovery Force Director Gen. Satya Narayan Pradhan said more teams have been pressed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday that he is “constantly monitoring the unfortunate situation” as he traveled across the northeastern state of Assam to launch a state highway project. Later he announced compensation to those injured and families of killed.
In 2013, massive floods in the state caused by cloudburst caused the country’s worst natural disaster since a tsunami in 2004 that killed 5,700 people.
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