A glacier fractured in the Himalayas on Sunday, causing flash floods and widespread damage, with more than 125 people reported missing. India’s disaster response team was dispatched to Uttarakhand’s mountainous region, where they’ve already recovered seven bodies. Authorities have begun evacuating several villages downstream to clear the area for rescue efforts.
The flood destroyed numerous homes and even smashed through a hydroelectric power plant sweeping away numerous workers. Over 30 people were trapped in a tunnel that required rescuers to dig a ditch to pull them out. Most of the bodies recovered were found downstream as the flood carried them away from the original disaster site. Officials say they won’t know the full extent of the damage until the morning.
The 8-mile stretch of the Alaknanda River was the length of the affected area, and officials say the river levels have returned to normal. This area has experienced devastating floods, with the last occurring in 2013, which claimed thousands of lives. Climate change, melting glaciers, and construction in the area has been considered the culprit for the recent events.