Indian authorities have been placed on a “war footing” after a part of a Himalayan glacier collapsed. A video shared online showed the moment a “glacial burst in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli river” unleashed a flash flood in the Ganga river. The state of Uttarakhand has been put on high alert after a dam was damaged in the ensuing flood chaos.
BBC News anchor Ben Brown said: “At least three people have died and 150 people are still missing after a crumbling glacier caused flash flooding in northern India.
“The floods washed away part of a dam in the Himalayas. Disaster relief forces have been sent to the area.”
The BBC’s South Asia editor Anbarasan Ethirajan explained: “This glacier washed away parts of this dam.
“There had been construction along the river and a nearby power plant that was damaged in this.
“So far, they have recovered three bodies and dozens are missing. The Government has asked the army to be on standby.
“This area is geologically sensitive and the death toll could rise significantly.”
The glacier broke off from the Nanda Devi peak, sparking a sudden rise in water levels.
The incident has sparked panic in India, where officials have confirmed that hundreds of workers are missing in the affected zone.
More than 150 labourers working at the Rishi Ganga power project may have been directly affected, according to State Disaster Response Force DIG Ridhim Aggarwal.
She said: “Representatives of the power project have told me that they are not being able to contact around 150 of their workmen at the project site.”
The hydropower plant was also damaged in the flood.
He tweeted: “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.”
Several teams have been deployed for search-and-rescue operations.
Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted: “All officers concerned are working on a war footing to rescue people. Every possible help will be provided.”