Death Toll In India Glacial Lake Flood Hits 40

At least 40 people have perished in flash floods that have inundated India’s northeast, officials said Friday, as army forces plan helicopter rescues for thousands more caught in the storm.

On Wednesday, violent floods engulfed the remote state of Sikkim following the sudden bursting of a high-altitude glacier lake near India’s borders with Nepal and China.

Climate scientists warn that as global temperatures increase and ice melts, comparable calamities will become more common across the Himalayas.

Overnight, search-and-rescue personnel retrieved additional bodies as the waves carved a gash across the countryside on their way to the Bay of Bengal.

“Nineteen bodies have been recovered” in Sikkim state, V.B. Pathak, its top civil servant, told AFP.

Shama Parveen, a district magistrate in neighbouring West Bengal, said that an additional 21 bodies had been recovered in her state over the past three days.

Nearly 8,000 others were taking shelter at makeshift relief camps set up at schools, government offices and guesthouses, according to a state government bulletin.

“There may be a window of opportunity for evacuation of stranded tourists by helicopters” with weather conditions improving on Friday, the statement added.

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