(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Hundreds of Indian military personnel are searching for 170 people unaccounted for after a part of a glacier collapsed and released a torrent of water, rock and dust down a mountain valley in the country’s Himalayan north, killing 14.
According to footage and witness accounts, a towering surge of water swept down the river at high speed on Sunday morning, gathering momentum as it moved through the narrow gorge, completely wiping out Rishiganga hydropower dam. It swept away five bridges and damaged dozens of homes.
As the water surged down the Dhauliganga river, it hit a larger 500MW hydroelectric power plant being built by the government’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) as part of a development push in the state, and damaged three other hydroelectric projects along the river.
Most of the missing were people working on the Rishiganga and NTPC hydropower plants.