At least 40 people died after the overflow of a glacial lake that caused flash floods this week in the Indian Himalayasgovernment officials told Reuters on Friday, as rescue teams searched for dozens of people missing every second day in a rowo.
He lake Lhonakin the mountainous northeastern state of Sikkimoverflowed on Wednesday after a storm unleashed torrential rain and an apparent avalanche, causing significant floods in Teesta river. Sikkim authorities declared that 22,000 people were affected by the damage caused.
It is one of the worst disasters to occur in the region in more than 50 years and the latest in a series of extreme weather events that have caused widespread damage in the South Asian Himalayas in recent years, and which scientists blame on climate change.
Scientists and government authorities were working on a glacial flood early warning system in Lake Lhonak, which could have given people more time to evacuate if it had been fully operational, officials involved in the project told Reuters.
On Thursday night, Sikkim authorities had put 18 the number of fatalities. Officials from the neighboring state of West Bengall, downstream, told Reuters that emergency crews They had recovered 22 other bodies that had been swept away by the waters.