24/7 Space News
ICE WORLD
Death toll in India glacial lake flood hits 40
ADVERTISEMENT
Death toll in India glacial lake flood hits 40
by AFP Staff Writers
Guwahati, India (AFP) Oct 6, 2023

At least 40 people have died in flash floods inundating India's northeast, officials said Friday, as army teams plotted helicopter rescues for more of the thousands stranded in the deluge.

Violent torrents stuck the remote state of Sikkim on Wednesday after the sudden bursting of a high-altitude glacial lake near India's borders with Nepal and China.

Climate scientists warn that similar disasters will become an increasing danger across the Himalayas as global temperatures rise and ice melts.

Downstream search-and-rescue teams recovered more bodies overnight as the waters cut a swathe through the countryside towards the Bay of Bengal.

"Nineteen bodies have been recovered" in Sikkim state, V.B. Pathak, its top civil servant, told AFP.

Shama Parveen, a district magistrate in neighbouring West Bengal, said that an additional 21 bodies had been recovered in her state over the past three days.

Nearly 8,000 others were taking shelter at makeshift relief camps set up at schools, government offices and guesthouses, according to a state government bulletin.

"There may be a window of opportunity for evacuation of stranded tourists by helicopters" with weather conditions improving on Friday, the statement added.

At least 14 dead, 102 missing in India glacial lake burst
Guwahati, India (AFP) Oct 5, 2023 - Indian rescue teams searched on Thursday for 102 people missing after a devastating flash flood triggered by a high-altitude glacial lake burst killed at least 14, officials said.

Violent flooding from glacier lakes dammed by loose rock has become more frequent as global temperatures rise and ice melts, with climate scientists warning it poses an increasing danger across the wider Himalayan mountain range.

"The number of human lives lost is 14 so far, and the number of missing is 102," Prabhakar Rai, director of the Sikkim state disaster management authority, told AFP a day after a wall of water rushed down the mountainous valley in northeastern India.

Authorities said roads had been "severely" damaged and 14 bridges had been washed away.

Rescuers were battling to help those hit by the flood, with communications cut across large areas, and 25 relief camps set up for those forced to flee their homes.

"Floodwaters have caused havoc in four districts of the state, sweeping away people, roads, bridges," Himanshu Tiwari, an Indian Army spokesman, told AFP.

Twenty-two soldiers are among the missing, the army said. One previously missing soldier was rescued.

The army was working to reestablish telephone connections and provide "medical aid to tourists and locals stranded", it said in a statement.

The water surge came after intense rainfall burst the high-altitude Lhonak Lake, which sits at the base of a glacier in peaks surrounding the world's third-highest mountain, Kangchenjunga.

Himalayan glaciers are melting faster than ever due to climate change, exposing communities to unpredictable and costly disasters, according to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) research group.

- 'Serious destruction' -

Water powered downstream, adding to a river already swollen by monsoon rains, damaging a dam, sweeping away houses and bridges, and causing "serious destruction", the Sikkim state government said.

Damage was recorded more than 120 kilometres (75 miles) downstream, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised "all possible support" for those affected.

Lhonak Lake shrunk by nearly two-thirds in size, an area roughly equivalent to about 150 football pitches (105 hectares), satellite photographs released by the Indian Space Research Organisation showed.

"Intense rain has led to this catastrophic situation in Sikkim where the rain has triggered a glacial lake outburst flood and damaged a dam, and caused loss of life," said Miriam Jackson, a scientist specialising in ice who monitors Himalayan regions with the Nepal-based ICIMOD.

"We observe that such extreme events increase in frequency as the climate continues to warm and takes us into unknown territory."

Earth's average surface temperature has risen nearly 1.2 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times but high-mountain regions around the world have warmed at twice that pace, climate scientists say.

Sikkim is close to India's border with Nepal and China and boasts a sizeable military presence.

India has been wary of China's growing military assertiveness and their 3,500-kilometre shared frontier has been a perennial source of tension, with parts of Sikkim claimed by Beijing.

Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

RELATED CONTENT
The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
ICE WORLD
At least 10 dead, 82 missing in India glacial lake burst
Guwahati, India (AFP) Oct 5, 2023
The death toll from a devastating glacial lake burst that triggered a torrential flash flood in India has risen to at least 10 people, with 82 others still missing, according to officials. Violent flooding from glacier lakes dammed by loose rock has become more frequent as global temperatures rise and ice melts, with climate scientists warning they pose an increasing danger across the wider Himalayan mountain range. "Floodwaters have caused havoc in four districts of the state, sweeping away peo ... read more

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ICE WORLD
Chinese universities climb up leading global ranking

ISS National Lab and Privateer announce Data and Information Sharing Partnership

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio returning to Earth after record 371 days in space

Two Russians, American land back on Earth after ISS mission: Moscow

ICE WORLD
Record-breaking launch of SpaceX's Starlink satellites

Blue Origin to remain grounded for now following crash probe

All engines added to NASA's Artemis II core stage

Historic NASA wind tunnel testing Mars Ascent Vehicle

ICE WORLD
Double DRT for a Soliday: Sols 3964-3965:

Dust removal delayed: Sols 3962-3963

Curiosity Needs an Altitude Adjustment: Sols 3955-3956

"Sombrero Rock": A Case of Case-Hardening?

ICE WORLD
Astronauts honored for contributions to China's space program

China capable of protecting astronauts from effects of space weightlessness

Tianzhou 5 spacecraft burns up on Earth reentry

Crew of Shenzhou XV mission honored for six-month space odyssey

ICE WORLD
Sierra Space increases total investment to $1.7B with $290M Series B Funding

Intelsat expands Brazil infrastructure, delivers new services

Eutelsat investors approve OneWeb merger for satellite internet

Arlington Capital Partners to acquire Exostar from Thoma Bravo

ICE WORLD
Metal-loving microbes could replace chemical processing of rare earths

Five things to know about 'Assassin's Creed'

Material matters

Green issues dominate Paris fashion as green tech marketplace debuts

ICE WORLD
Study sheds new light on strange lava worlds

JWST's first spectrum of a TRAPPIST-1 planet

Alien Machines in the Solar System: The Possibilities and Potential Origins

Possible hints of life found on distant planet - how excited should we be?

ICE WORLD
Plot thickens in the hunt for a ninth planet

Webb finds carbon source on surface of Jupiter's moon Europa

Hidden ocean the source of CO2 on Jupiter moon

Juice: why's it taking sooo long

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


ADVERTISEMENT



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.