At least 42 people have reportedly died after flash floods swamped following a glacial lake burst its banks in the Indian Himalayas in Kolkata this week.

150 missing people are still missing.

On Wednesday, a cloudburst led to severe rain, causing Lhonak Lake to overflow and a consequential avalanche resulting in the flooding of Teesta river.

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It is said to be one of the worst calamities in the region in more than 50 years.

Accoeiding to authorities in Sikkim, 22,000 people have been affected.

“We got calls from people that river levels could rise at 3am and we ran for our lives,” Reuters quotes Javed Ahmed Ansari, 44, a resident of Teesta valley, who owns a river rafting business.

“We ran towards the hill in the jungle … We saw houses getting swept away. I can now only see the first floor of our house which is filled with sand, everything is submerged.”

According to Reuters, officials involved in the project said that scientists and government authorities had beenbworking on an early warning system for glacial floods at Lhonak Lake which could have given people more time to evacuate if it was fully operational.