A glacier broke off in India's Uttarakhand district on Sunday, February 7, causing an avalanche in which more than 100 people are feared to have died.
According to reports, the victims were workers at the massive power project of government-owned NTPC Ltd in the Joshimath region of Chamoli district.
Authorities are worried about massive destruction, while rescue teams have been deployed to the affected areas. Indian military and paramilitary units have been pressed into service, the government said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he has been personally monitoring various rescue and relief missions. "India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone's safety," Modi tweeted.
The State Disaster Response Force DIG Ridhim Aggarwal said: "Representatives of the power project have told me that they are not being able to contact around 150 of their workmen at the project site."
Other districts in the Uttarakhand such as Pauri, Tehri, Rudraprayag, Haridwar and Dehradun are also expected to be affected. All these states are now on high alert.
The mountainous state of Uttarakhand was the site of another disaster in 2013 when heavy rains caused flash floods in all the major river valleys.
Beware of Fake Videos
While people are waiting for more updates, many users started to spread fake news on social media using videos from the 2013 disaster. The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat, has urged people not to spread rumors through old flood videos.
Rawat said that all districts have been alerted about the situation and people have been asked to keep a safe distance from the river Ganga. Reports said that he also canceled all his programs scheduled on the day and is expected to visit Chamoli to look at the current condition.
Teams from Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have rushed to flood-affected areas in the Indian northern state to undertake relief and rescue people. However, disaster response teams have also been deployed including three helicopters. Officials are now conducting aerial surveys.