Northern India: 150 feared dead as glacier breaks and hits dam in

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At least 150 people are feared dead in northern India after part of a Himalayan glacier broke off, sending a flood of water and debris into two hydroelectric dams.

A portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in the Tapovan area of Uttarakhand state on Sunday, with the subsequent flooding damaging the Rishiganga and Dhauliganga hydropower projects, officials said.

At least 150 people working at the two power plants are now missing and feared dead, a state official said.

Local police said three bodies had already been recovered.

Eyewitness Sanjay Singh Rana, who lives on the upper reaches of the river, told Reuters news agency: "It came very fast, there was no time to alert anyone. I felt that even we would be swept away."

Officials said the breaking glacier released water trapped behind it as well as sending mud and other debris surging down the mountain and into other bodies of water.

Some houses were also damaged in the flooding and an evacuation of homes on the banks of the Alaknanda river was issued immediately.

Several teams of rescuers were rushed to the affected area, officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was closely monitoring the situation.

In 2013, more than 1,000 people were killed in Uttarakhand after heavy rain triggered landslides and floods, washing away thousands of houses and roads.