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Sun Feb 7, 2021, 05:59 AM

Himalayan glacier breaks in India, up to 150 feared dead in floods

Source: Reuters

As many as 150 people were feared dead in northern India after a Himalayan glacier broke and swept away a hydroelectric dam on Sunday, with floods forcing the evacuation of villages downstream.

“The actual number has not been confirmed yet,” but 100 to 150 people were feared dead, Om Prakash, chief secretary of Uttarakhand, told Reuters.

A witness reported a wall of dust, rock and water as an avalanche roared down the Dhauli Ganga river valley located more than 500 km (310 miles) north of New Delhi.

“It came very fast, there was no time to alert anyone,” Sanjay Singh Rana, who lives on the upper reaches of the river in Raini village in Uttarakhand, told Reuters by phone. “I felt that even we would be swept away.”

Uttarakhand’s Police Chief Ashok Kumar told reporters more than 50 people working at the dam, the Rishiganga Hydroelectric Project, were feared dead though some others had been rescued. Kumar also said authorities had evacuated other dams to contain the water rushing in from the flooded Alakananda river.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-disaster/himalayan-glacier-breaks-in-india-up-to-150-feared-dead-in-floods-idUSKBN2A706O?il=0



Video of the dam breaking at the BBC - catastrophic: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-55969669

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Reply Himalayan glacier breaks in India, up to 150 feared dead in floods (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Feb 7 OP
DonaldsRump Feb 7 #1
denbot Feb 7 #2
hatrack Feb 7 #3
Marthe48 Feb 7 #4
Nitram Feb 7 #5
muriel_volestrangler Feb 9 #6

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sun Feb 7, 2021, 06:06 AM

1. Horrifying.

I wonder if this was climate-change related?
This is the DU member formerly known as DonaldsRump.

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Response to DonaldsRump (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 7, 2021, 06:54 AM

2. That glacier had likely been there since the Pleistocene..

I would guess climate change was the cause.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sun Feb 7, 2021, 06:57 AM

3. Possibly Caused By A GLOF (Glacial Lake Outburst Flood)? Not Explicit, But It's Between The Lines

And there was this was three days ago .. .

By 2050, most people on Earth will live downstream of tens of thousands of large dams built in the 20th century, many of them including India’s already operating at or beyond their design life, putting lives and property at risk, a UN University (UNU) analysis revealed. Besides India, the analysis also includes dam decommissioning or ageing case studies from the US, France, Canada, Japan, and Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The report, "Ageing water infrastructure: An emerging global risk", by UNU's Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, released on Friday said most of the 58,700 large dams worldwide were constructed between 1930 and 1970 with a design life of 50 to 100 years, adding that at 50 years, a large concrete dam "would most probably begin to express signs of ageing".

Ageing signs include increasing cases of dam failures, progressively increasing costs of dam repair and maintenance, increasing reservoir sedimentation, and loss of a dam's functionality and effectiveness, "strongly interconnected" manifestations, the paper says.

The report says dams that are well designed, constructed and maintained can "easily" reach 100 years of service but predicts an increase in "decommissioning", a phenomenon gaining pace in the US and Europe, as economic and practical limitations prevent ageing dams from being upgraded or if their original use is now obsolete.

EDIT

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/environment/ageing-unsafe-dams-growing-threat-in-india-too-un-report

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sun Feb 7, 2021, 10:58 AM

4. Nature will win

She pretends to tolerate mankind's efforts to hold her back, but slaps us down at her whim.

Much better to acknowledge her elemental power than try to tame her.

I hope the people who died didn't suffer. What a terrible way to die.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sun Feb 7, 2021, 11:44 AM

5. Global warming. Expect more and more of this.

This is the DU member formerly known as Nitram.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Tue Feb 9, 2021, 10:00 AM

6. 12 rescued from 1 dam tunnel, 35 believed trapped in another

Uttarakhand dam disaster: 'The most difficult seven hours of my life'

On Sunday, Basant Bahadur and 11 others were trapped for hours in a tunnel in north India, hanging from iron bars in the roof while some sat on a mechanical digger above icy cold water, waiting for help to arrive.

What the 12 did not know at the time was that a piece of a Himalayan glacier was suspected of shearing off into a river and triggering a huge flood. It sent a deluge of water and debris their way.

It blocked two tunnels connected to the Tapovan Vishnugad hydro power project in the state of Uttarakhand. Basant Bahadur and his group pulled out from the smaller tunnel. Emergency teams are now focused on rescuing 35 people believed to be trapped in the longer one, which is 8.3km (5.1 miles) long.
...
The mobile network in the blocked tunnel was patchy. Finally, they managed to make contact with emergency teams who pulled them out using ropes.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-55997160

"We're trying to drill and make our way via rope to reach them," he told news agency ANI.

The hydro power project is under construction and was scheduled to be completed by 2023.

Emergency teams who ventured inside the tunnel have returned because of water and "heavy accumulation of slush inside", according to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, which is helping in the rescue work.

There has been no contact with the workers since Sunday, and officials say it is hard to tell where in the tunnel they are and whether they are together.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-55992014

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