Over 100 feared dead after Himalayan glacier bursts

Over a hundred people are missing and feared dead in northern India after a Himalayan glacier broke and swept away a dam on Sunday (February 7) causing immense flooding and forcing the evacuation of villages downstream.

Several bodies have already been recovered.

One witness said a wall of dust, rock and water hit as an avalanche roared down the Rishiganga valley, deep in the mountains of Uttarakhand.

Many of those missing are workers at the Rishiganga Hydroelectric Project - which was destroyed.

12 people who had been trapped in a tunnel had been rescued - and efforts were under way to save others caught in another, according to the the federal home ministry.

Local Puran Singh Rana saw the disaster.

"I was looking up and down and I could not see anything, but five minutes later, I witnessed something that looked like a scene from a Bollywood film. I have never seen anything like what I saw at the Rishiganga plant… about 50 to 100 people were running for their lives but could not be saved and they were engulfed by the river."

It was not immediately clear what had set off the avalanche outside of flood season - but Uttarakhand is prone to flash floods and landslides - and environmental groups have now called for a review of power projects in the ecologically sensitive mountains.