In Skkim, India, seven people died in a massive avalanche this past Tuesday. The Indian army reported that 23 tourists were rescued from the scene of the incident, with 11 reported to be injured. The avalanche hit the group of people near the Nathu La mountain pass.
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Out of the people rescued, it has been reported that 8 are currently in critical condition. Several people are currently missing, and the death toll is expected to rise as the search continues. Unsuspecting travelers stopped by a stream to take pictures of the beautiful scenery when the avalanche occurred.
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Senior police official Tenzing Loden Lepcha told Reuters, “We are doing one more check before calling off the rescue operation since it is getting dark and some more snow has started coming down.” The heroic rescue of the trapped tourists was captured on video, depicting members of the Indian army digging in the heavy snow and one man being carried off after being rescued from the snow.
Dehli resident Kavita Agarwal, who was traveling at the time of the harrowing incident, spoke to Reuters about how he warned tourists about the approaching hazardous weather. 350 stranded tourists and 80 vehicles were reported to have been saved from being buried in the snow.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a statement regarding the catastrophe, saying, “Distressed by the avalanche in Sikkim. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. I hope the injured recover soon.”
The effects of global warming have apparently rocked The Himalayan region, causing a large number of similar events to happen for the past 10 years. Over 6,000 people were reported to have been killed back in 2013 by floods caused by monsoon rains. Just last year, 27 trainee mountaineers were killed by when an avalanche struck the northern Uttarakhand region.