On October 4th, a glacial lake outburst event struck North Sikkim, sending shockwaves across the northeastern state. This event unfolded at Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim, causing an abrupt and alarming surge in the water level of the Teesta River. The floodwaters reached the Teesta III Dam in Chungthang around midnight, resulting in the dam's destruction within mere minutes.
While initial reports suggested that a cloudburst may have triggered the glacial lake outburst, scientific investigations are ongoing to uncover the true underlying causes of this phenomenon. In this episode of Climate Emergency, reporter Sneha Richhariya talks to local residents to understand the situation on ground and speaks to Prof. Vimal Khawas from the Special Centre for the Study of North East India at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi about the factors driving this event, with an emphasis on how climate change has exacerbated it.