Last week, an avalanche of water and mud caused by the collapse of a Himalayan glacier left dozens dead or missing and destroyed houses, bridges and two hydroelectric plants.
Scientists studying satellite images and other data argue that the disaster was caused by the combination of rockslide and an avalanche in the high glacial peaks of the region, which may have been stimulated by global warming.
However, according to the Gizmodo, some residents of the region suggest that the tragedy may be linked to the human activity of a different and more clandestine nature.
According to the locals, the flood waters and the wreckage were accompanied by a strong smell in the air. As a result, some traced a link to a notorious expedition to the summit of neighboring Nanda Devi – the highest peak contained entirely within India’s borders – more than half a century ago.
In 1965, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) joined Indian forces to install a nuclear powered surveillance device on top of the peak in order to maintain control over China.
The expedition faced a snowstorm on the mountain and was forced to return, hiding the plutonium-powered device in a crevice from which it could be recovered later. However, the nuclear bomb is believed to have fallen down the mountain in a landslide. and was never seen again.
Now, residents fear that the long-lost device may be active and the emanate enough heat to melt tons of snow and ice.
“If the device is buried under snow somewhere in the area and radiates heat, it is clear that there will be more snow melt and more avalanches,” said Sangram Singh Rawat, speaking to the media. Times of India.
However, the Indian leader of the expedition, the well-known mountaineer Captain Mohan Singh Kohli, said he was “very unlikely that the device emanates heat or explodes ”, even if the box that protects it was violated, since it cannot be activated on its own.
“The device is probably trapped between glaciers. Because it is immobile, it must be in a dormant state, ”explained the Indian Navy veteran. “We spent three years trying to track him down. There is no way to trigger any undesirable incident, as the instrument also needs other components to be fully operational ”.
Meanwhile, officials are eyeing a new lake that has formed since the floods, raising concerns that another explosion could again threaten downstream residents in the same regions that were hit last week.
Maria Campos, ZAP //