Uttarakhand flash floods caused by hanging glacier collapse, says initial study; toll rises to 32
Scientists at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology suggest that rock mass weakened over time due to freezing and thawing of snow, led to the creation of a 'weak zone'
The flash floods in Uttarakhand two days ago was due to the collapse of a hanging glacier, initial observations by scientists at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology suggests.
A hanging glacier is a body of ice that breaks off abruptly at the edge of a precipice or steep slope.
"The event happened in a hanging glacier, adjacent to Raunthi glacier, which originates from Raunthi/Mrigudhani peak (6,063 metres above sea level)," Kalachand Sain, director of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, said.
The observations also suggest that rock mass weakened over a period of time due to freezing and thawing of snow must have led to the creation of a "weak zone", triggering its collapse, which resulted in the formation of a temporary dam that eventually breached, causing the deadly floods.
Two teams of five glaciologists are studying the reasons behind Sunday's disaster. They also undertook a helicopter survey on Tuesday.
The glaciers around the area feed the Rishiganga river, which meets the Dhualiganga river.
The death toll in the Uttarakhand disaster rose to 32 with six more bodies being recovered, officials said Tuesday, as multiple agencies raced against time to reach about 30 workers trapped inside a tunnel at a power project site and 174 people remained missing.
About 600 rescue workers are involved in the operation, two days after the sudden flood in the Alaknanda river system in Chamoli district that was possibly triggered by an avalanche or glacier burst.
A yellow alert has been sounded for Monday, with a forecast of thunderstorms, and lightning with intense showers at isolated places
Uttarakhand Police on Friday arrested three people including Pulkit Arya, the son of Vinod Arya, a former BJP minister in the state, on charges of murder. Ankita was employed as a receptionist at a resort owned by the former minister in Rishikesh
As per the information, the giant glacier behind the Kedarnath was broken for the second time since the last month and appeared like a watershed from distance