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The deluge

| Updated on February 09, 2021 Published on February 09, 2021

A scenic part of the Himalayan landscape is now an image of death and destruction

It was meant to have been a quiet Sunday morning like any other in the hills of Uttarakhand. The serenity of the winter morning in Chamoli, however, was destroyed by a deluge that has so far killed at least 30 people, left over 175 missing and wiped away villages as well as infrastructure projects. The severest natural disaster to hit Uttarakhand since cloudbursts set off a catastrophe that killed over 5,000 in 2013, the current floods in the Alakananda river system have turned idyllic Himalayan villages into pictures of death, destruction and doom. While scientists are still studying the cause of the flood — examining whether it was a glacial burst or a landslide — ground zero is dominated by operations to rescue those stranded, most of them labourers working at the sites of hydel projects in the ecologically vulnerable region. As hopes of finding survivors wane with each passing hour, the picturesque Himalayan villages have turned into another postcard of grief and loss.

(Text and images: Jagan Negi)

Jagan Negi is a Delhi-based photojournalist

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Published on February 09, 2021