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In Search of the Clouded Leopard

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Since National Geographic went to press, floods devastated parts of Tibet and India.

Submitted by Daniel Taylor-Ide

Photograph by Daniel Taylor-Ide

A gargantuan landslide in early April plugged a Tibetan tributary of the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra River, creating a huge lake of dammed water in a nearby valley. The water continued to rise, and two months later it broke through the blockage and roiled down the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra gorge, one of the deepest in the world. By the time the flood washed into India, it had become a thundering wall reaching some 165 feet (50 meters) high.

Crashing through the Dihang Valley, the deluge wiped out the bridge and surrounding vegetation featured in the opening photograph (shown above) of the September National Geographic article “In Search of the Clouded Leopard.” In all, the raging waters destroyed 20 bridges over a 125-mile (150-kilometer) stretch of the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra River, called the Dihang River in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

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