Concerns have been raised that hydropower plants in Nepal may have been badly affected by the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake which hit the country at the weekend, killing more than 4700 people.

Newswire reports have said that Chinese workers are trapped at a hydro plant on the China-Nepal border, with helicopter rescue operations underway.

The full extent of the damage to the project, along with several others in the country, will not become clear until inspectors are able to access sites, which may not be for some time.

Nepal has a number of hydropower plants in development, and plans for many more in order to exploit its immense potential. Just two weeks ago plans were approved for the development of a major new dam on the West Seti River. Tunneling work was also expected to start soon on the 48MW Bheri Babai multipurpose project.