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The Himalayan Glacier Bursts In India; dozens of dreaded dead

 Dozens of people are feared to have died in India after a Himalayan glacier broke and crashed into a hydroelectric dam and people were hastily evacuated amid rising water levels in a nearby river.

Images from television channels and the ANI news agency showed water gushing towards the dam in Uttarakhand state on Sunday, washing away parts of it and anything else in its path.

The Himalayan Glacier Bursts In India; dozens of dreaded dead

Om Prakash, chief secretary of the state of Uttarakhand, said up to 150 people were feared to die, but "the actual number has not yet been confirmed."

One witness said he saw a wall of dust, rocks and water as an avalanche roared through a river valley.

"It came very quickly, there was no time to alert anyone," Sanjay Singh Rana, who lives in the upper part of Raini village, told Reuters news agency by phone. "I felt that even we would be swept away."

Local authorities reported that districts such as Pauri, Tehri, Rudraprayag, Haridwar and Dehradun were put on high alert.

"The relief news is that the flow of the Alaknanda River ... has become normal," Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said on Twitter. "The water level in the river is now 3 feet [1 meter] above normal, but the flow is decreasing."

"The nation prays"

The Times of India newspaper quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as saying that he was monitoring the situation in Uttarakhand.

“India supports Uttarakhand and the nation prays for the safety of everyone there. I have been continuously talking to higher authorities and getting updates on… rescue work and relief operations, ”Modi said.

Uttarakhand, in the Himalayas, is prone to flash floods and landslides. In June 2013, record rains caused devastating floods that killed nearly 6,000 people.

That disaster was described by the media as the “Himalayan tsunami” due to the torrents of water that broke out in the mountainous area, which threw mud and rocks that collapsed, buried houses, destroyed buildings, roads and bridges.

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