Flooding halts manufacturing at Alembic Pharmaceuticals plant in India

Manufacturing operations at an Alembic Pharmaceuticals facility in India were halted after heavy rains caused a glacial lake to overflow and flood the Teesta River.

The facility, which is located in Namthang in the state of Sikkim near the Chinese border and the Himalayas, was breached by floodwaters Tuesday, disrupting operations, the company said in a filing with the BSE (PDF).

“There is no loss or harm caused to any personnel,” the company said in the filing. “The assessment of loss/damage will take a while."

The company said the facility and its assets were “adequately insured.”

At least 10 people were killed by the flooding and 82 others, including 23 military personnel, were missing, Al Jazeera reported.

Alembic is just the latest drug manufacturer to experience a halt in operations due to natural disasters.

In July, a tornado ripped through Pfizer’s massive manufacturing facility in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. None of the 4,500 staffers at the facility were injured in the storm, but the damage stirred fears of drug shortages. The facility produces almost 10% of all sterile injectables used in U.S. hospitals.

Pfizer recently resumed manufacturing operations at the site, but it expects supplies of drugs made at the plant will be affected into 2024.

In 2017, Hurricane Maria pounded Puerto Rico, idling dozens of pharmaceutical manufacturing plants operating on the island.

The year before, Hurricane Matthew slammed the southeast U.S. coastline, causing CDMO Patheon to temporarily close three of its manufacturing facilities.