A dozen workers have been rescued from a Himalayan power plant that was buried in mud and debris after a mudslide erupted.
- 12 people were rescued, but authorities are still trying to find 37 people trapped under the rubble at a power station
- At least 26 people have been killed and 165 are missing in the disaster
- Experts say the disaster could be linked to global warming
Thousands of soldiers, paramilitaries and police are working day and night to reach about 37 people stranded at a power plant built on the banks of the Alaknanda River in Uttarakhand, northern India.
Twelve workers from another plant under construction on the nearby Tuliganga River were partially cut off from the Nanda Devi glacier on Sunday morning and dragged away for safety.
The disaster left at least 26 people dead and 165 missing.
The flood destroyed one dam, damaged another dam and washed down houses.
Excavations were used to excavate power plant workers from the trapped tunnel.
Rajiv Semwal, a resident of Tapovan, one of the flood-hit villages, said he heard a sound similar to clouds and then saw that the blue water of the Alaknanda River was usually muddy.
Mr. Semwal’s brother-in-law and brother both worked at the power station.
But on Sunday, only his brother went to work and was in the subway when the flood hit.
“He’s 18 or 19 years old after finishing his final year of school,” Mr Semwal said.
“His name is Amit Dowell. He is still missing. We can not find him. The tunnel in Tapovan is full of rubbish. So this is very sad news.”
Experts said the disaster could be linked to global warming and a team of scientists was dispatched to the site on Monday to investigate what happened.
The Indian Air Force was ready to assist in rescue operations, while disaster-response teams were sent on board to assist in relief and rescue.
Army soldiers were already stationed and helicopters were doing intelligence.
“India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for the safety of all there,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.
Flash flood, landslide prone Himalayan region
Uttarakhand has a chain of power projects on the Alaknanda River and its tributaries.
The area is prone to floods and landslides and the latest disaster has called for environmental groups to review power projects in environmentally sensitive mountains.
Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous neighbor, has placed its riverside areas on high alert.
It was not immediately clear what caused the avalanche during the flood season.
In June 2013, a recorded monsoon in Uttarakhand caused catastrophic floods that killed 6,000 lives.
The catastrophe became known as the “Himalayan Tsunami” because mud and rocks fell down, burying houses and unleashing streams of water on hillsides that swept away buildings, roads and bridges.
AP / ABC