Scientists are still investigating the cause of a catastrophic flood that killed dozens and left around 150 people missing in northern India on Sunday.
So far, experts believe a huge mass of ice or rock fell from a nearby mountain glacier and caused a surge of water in the Rishi Ganga river. The flood barreled down the mountainside, wiping out bridges, destroying two hydroelectric dam projects and prompting evacuations of villages in India’s Uttarakhand state in the Himalayas.
What triggered the avalanche remains unclear. Rising temperatures are causing mountain glaciers to melt and destabilize throughout the Himalayas, but it’s still too early for scientists to say whether climate change had a hand in Sunday’s disaster.
It’s a warning bell nonetheless. What happened in Uttarakhand serves as a reminder of the perils of climate change in mountainous areas all over the world.
Large glaciers around the globe “have been shrinking dramatically over the last century—thinning
— source scientificamerican.com | Chelsea Harvey | Feb 10, 2021