how a uncommon February landslide left extra than 200 dead By Reuters

Disaster in the Himalayas: how a rare February landslide left more than 200 dead

© Reuters. An aerial thought exhibits a broken barrage after a flash flood swept a mountain valley destroying dams and bridges, in Tapovan

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A landslide 20 kilometres west of Nanda Devi, India’s 2d-absolute best high, resulted in a flash flood on Feb. 7 that left extra than 200 dead, and swept away two utter hydro-electrical initiatives, in step with satellite imagery reviewed by Reuters.

Avalanches and flash flooding in the Himalayas are long-established all the blueprint thru summer season and monsoon months, as melting snow and heavy rains mix. Nonetheless incidents adore this are uncommon so early in the yr, alarming scientists studying climate alternate that is instant heating the field’s absolute best mountains.

Scientists are peaceable studying the predominant points of precisely what occurred, but acknowledged heavy snow fall adopted by vivid sunshine resulted in snow-melt in the house.

That can presumably perchance presumably have precipitated a chain response that resulted in an avalanche and heavy float of ice, water, rocks and debris surging down the Dhauliganga River valley and destroying villages. Whereas no lower than 70 bodies had been recovered, the utter government has formally declared that one more 136 folks missing are presumed dead.

Dave Petley, Professor of Geography at The University of Sheffield, suggested Reuters that there modified into a discount in the amount of snow, which might perchance have helped trigger the landslide, but no longer adequate to cause downstream flooding.

“There modified into clearly a thaw match going on on the time of the landslide. Nonetheless this looks to be superficial snow ideally suited, no longer enormous volumes,” acknowledged Petley, who research landslide events.

The disaster has caused calls by environmental groups for a overview of energy initiatives in the ecologically sensitive mountains. Specialists pronounce rampant building is including to the burden weighing on rural communities all the blueprint thru the Himalayas, in particular in areas shut to glaciers.

(INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC – Catastrophe in the Himalayas

(Graphic by Anand Katakam, Marco Hernandez and Simon Scarr; Extra reporting by Alasdair Pal and Anushree Fadnavis; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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