Rescuers in northern India digging for workers trapped in Himalayan glacier flood

Category : Top Stories

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. glacier / ˈgleɪ ʃər / (n.) – a large, slow-moving piece of ice

    Global warming is causing glaciers to melt faster.

  2. debris / dəˈbri / (n.) – broken pieces left behind after something is destroyed

    The house was filled with debris after the roof collapsed.

  3. search and rescue / sɜrtʃ ənd ˈrɛs kyu / (n.) – the act of looking for and saving people who got lost due to a natural disaster, accident, etc.

    The team’s on a search and rescue mission for the hikers who got lost in the mountains.

  4. hydropower plant / ˈhaɪ drəˌpaʊ ər plænt / (n.) – a power plant that converts the force of running water into electricity

    A hydropower plant is being built near the country’s largest river.

  5. snap off / snæp ɔf / (phrasal v.) – to suddenly break with a loud noise

    A huge branch snapped off in the heavy winds last night.


Read the text below.

Rescuers in northern India worked Feb. 8 to rescue more than three dozen power plant workers trapped in a tunnel after part of a Himalayan glacier broke off and sent a wall of water and debris rushing down a mountain — a disaster that has left at least 26 people dead and 165 missing.

More than 2,000 members of the military, paramilitary groups and police have been taking part in search and rescue operations in the northern state of Uttarakhand after the Feb. 7 flood, which destroyed one dam, damaged another and washed homes downstream.

Officials said the focus was on saving 37 workers who are stuck inside a tunnel at one of the affected hydropower plants. Heavy equipment was brought in to help clear the way through a 2.5-kilometer-long tunnel and reach the workers, who have been out of contact since the flood.

The flood was caused when a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier snapped off on the morning of Feb. 7, releasing water trapped behind it. Experts said the disaster could be linked to global warming. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The flood was caused when a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier snapped off, something that scientists have been warning could happen for years. Do you think it’s fair to say that the disaster was predictable and preventable? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Since the disaster, many have criticized the power company for providing no training, early-warning systems, or emergency exits. Do you think the company should take responsibility for putting its workers in danger? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • More than 2,000 members of the military, paramilitary groups, and police took part in the search and rescue operations. For disasters like this, how important is it for other countries to send people to help? Why? Discuss.
  • If trapped in a tunnel, do you think it’s better to patiently wait to be rescued or try to get out by yourself? Why? Discuss.
Category : Top Stories