Himalayan glacier bursts in India, dozens feared dead

Dozens of people are feared dead in India after a Himalayan glacier broke apart and crashed into a hydroelectric dam, with people hurriedly being evacuated amid rising water levels on a nearby river.

A rescue operation to clear Tapovan tunnel from debris following floods. (Indo Tibetan Border Police handout via AFP).

Footage from TV channels and news agency ANI showed water gushing towards the dam in the northern state of Uttarakhand on Sunday, washing away parts of it and whatever else was in its path.

“There was a cloud of dust as the water went by. The ground shook like an earthquake,” local inhabitant Om Agarwal told Indian TV.

Speaking to reporters at a press briefing in Dehra Dun, the capital of Uttarakhand state, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said “seven bodies have been recovered from the site and rescue operations are going on”.

Om Prakash, Uttarakhand’s chief secretary, said earlier as many as 150 people were feared dead but “the actual number has not been confirmed yet”.Most of the missing were workers at two power plants that were battered by the deluge, caused by a huge chunk of glacier that slipped off a mountainside further upstream, said Uttarakhand’s police chief Ashok Kumar.

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