JAKARTA (Agencies) - A 10-foot high "mini tsunami" crashed through a neighbourhood in Jakarta, killing 60 people and leaving hundreds of homes submerged in the Indonesian capital after a dam wall burst in the early hours of Friday morning. The wall of water tore through the crowded neighbourhood in Cirendeu, an industrial area on the outskirts of south Jakarta, drowning at least 60, including children, people, officials said. They said most of the dead had drowned in the flash flood, and the death toll was expected to rise as many people were sleeping when the disaster occurred and were unable to escape. "Hundreds of houses are flooded, tens of houses damaged, it was like a small tsunami," Rustam Pakaya, an official at the Health Ministry, said. "But before that there was heavy rain and wind, many trees were uprooted. People were still sleeping and couldn't do anything," said Susanto. "It was just like a mini tsunami," said Minu, the oldest daughter of Seto Mulyadi, the head of the national commission for children's protection. Her father said the water smashed all the windows and doors of the family home while his wife and four children were sleeping upstairs. They were woken by the sounds of a commotion outside and screaming people. Dozens remained missing after a huge wall of water broke through the man-made earthen dam as residents slept, giving them little chance to flee their low-lying homes. Houses and concrete buildings were flattened and buckled by the force of the water, which left many survivors in the suburbs of Cireundeu and Ciputat trapped on rooftops waiting to be rescued. "This disaster happened so suddenly," said Danang Susanto, an official with the Health Ministry's crisis centre. "Because people were sleeping, they couldn't get away." He estimated up to 500 homes were destroyed or submerged after heavy rains caused the breach in the dam at the edge of Situ Gintung lake in Cireundeu. The flooding in some places was six metres. Crisis centre head Rustam Pakaya put the death toll at 60, saying dozens more were injured. A nearby university assembly hall was converted into a makeshift morgue, where mud-smeared residents searched for missing loved ones among the bodies of the dead lined up on the floor. Television images showed bodies floating through the twisting streets nearby and water rushing through the breach in the dam, emptying the lake. "We cannot ascertain yet what caused the dam to break. Right now we're trying to rescue people," local deputy police commander Basuki said. "It's very difficult because of the thick mud, and because of the collapsed houses there are lots of branches, wooden planks and nails, making it difficult for our rubber boats to move," he said. While some authorities suggested rain may have caused the dam collapse, local residents said the decades-old barrier might have given way for other reasons. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and top ministers interrupted intense campaigning for legislative elections to inspect the rescue operations in the disaster area and visit the victims. "This disaster occurred because of unexpectedly high pressure caused by the high water level in the dam," Yudhoyono told reporters. "This is truly a catastrophe."