Between 100 and 150 people are feared dead, the chief secretary of the northern Uttarakhand State, OM Prakash, told ANI news agency. Indian media cited officials that said hundreds more may be stranded.
A glacier broke off in the Chamoli district, causing a massive flood in the Dhauliganga River and damaging a nearby power plant. Three bodies have been recovered so far, the media reported, citing border police. Rescuers also managed to save 16 people trapped in a tunnel.
According to reports, there could be more victims. PTI news agency cited a disaster response official who said more than 150 power plant workers have not been accounted for. Authorities also fear for the safety of workers at road and rail projects in the area, according to the media.
People living along the riverbanks were ordered to evacuate. First response teams along with the military and border police were deployed to look for survivors. Army helicopters are being used in the rescue operation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is monitoring the situation. “India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety there,” he tweeted.
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