10 Jun, 2021 21:30 am

Scientists have solved the mystery behind India's devastating flood that killed 200 people in February

Four months ago, a massive chunk broke off a glacier in India. The ice melted on impact, causing a deadly flood, a new study says.

Just before dawn on February 7, a massive chunk broke off a glacier on Ronti Peak in the Indian Himalayas.A computer model shows the path of the Chamoli rock and ice avalanche down Ronti Peak in February 2021.After the February disaster, experts initially thought a lake near the top of Ronti Peak had burst after the chunks of glacier holding it together cracked or broke off.The chunk of glacier that broke off Ronti Peak in the early morning was, on average, 262 feet thick.

Irfan Rashid/Department of Geoinformatics, University of Kashmir p Imagine a wall of rock and ice 1,800 feet wide falling the length of four Empire State Buildings stacked end-to-end.Shugar's team discovered key elements that could explain the disaster's severity: The initial avalanche's composition (about 20% ice and 80% rock), coupled with its mile-long fall, resulted in a hyper-mobile torrent of debris that doomed workers in the valley below.

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