08:22 GMT07 May 2021
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    A massive flood hit the Indian state of Uttarakhand after the banks of the Dhauliganga River burst on Sunday morning – earlier an avalanche caused by a breakaway glacier smashed into a dam higher up the river.

    One of the Tapovan Power Project's dams – located in the Chamoli district of India's Uttarakhand state – has been severely damaged after a breakaway glacier triggered an avalanche and flooding on Sunday. 

    “We’re lucky that it's Sunday. Had it been a working day... more than 1,700 people work in that location,” Yash Pokhriyal, a manager at the State Bank of India (SBI) in the Joshimath district told  Sputnik.

    He added that the swollen Dhauliganga river wiped out everything in its path – "more than five hotels by the river bank were swept away."

    The disaster reminded many locals of a similar flooding that hit Uttarakhand state in 2013. 

    ​"The view is scary. Low-lying areas are inundated, and houses were filled with muck deposited by floodwaters. I have never seen so much flow in the river before. This reminds me of the 2013 floods," Vinod Nautiyal, a retired army man who lives in Karanprayag city in the Chamoli District, said. 

    Thousands of pilgrims lost their lives eight years ago – a total of 3,886 people went missing and only 699 bodies were recovered. 

    Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) said Sunday's flooding happened after a reservoir breach, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted "India stands with Uttarakhand."

    ​Meanwhile, Uttarakhand state chief Trivendra Singh Rawat convened an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation and to supervise rescue and relief operations.

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