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Death toll in monsoon floods in northern India could reach 8,000: official

English.news.cn   2013-06-24 14:30:25            
 • The death toll in monsoon floods in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand could reach 8,000.
 • Thousands of people are still stranded in the mountains where rescue operations have been suspended.
 • More than 80,000 people have been evacuated since monsoon floods swept the state on June 16.

 

Indian soldiers evacuate stranded pilgrims at Kedarnath valley in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand on June 21, 2013. Indian authorities have evacuated a total of 70,000 people from flood-ravaged areas in the northern state of Uttarakhand while 22,000 remained stranded and official death toll attained 680, officials said Saturday. (Xinhua)

NEW DELHI, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The death toll in monsoon floods in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand could reach 8,000 as thousands of people are still stranded in the mountains where rescue operations have been suspended following rainfall and fresh landslides Monday, an official said.

"Some 5,000 people have died so far while more than 19,000 others are still stranded in the difficult terrains of the hilly state. But light showers since this morning and two landslides -- on the Rudraprayag -Guptkashi road and on the Rishikesh-Uttarkashi route -- have forced rescuers to stop evacuation," he said, on condition of anonymity.

The official added "The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force have been air lifting stranded people, mostly Hindu pilgrims, from the mountains. But, they have suspended helicopter operations due to bad weather. If those stranded people cannot be rescued by this evening, the death toll could rise to 8,000 as the weather office have already predicted heavy rainfall Monday onwards."

A senior Minister of Uttarkhand on Sunday put the death toll at 5,000. "At least 5,000 people must have been killed in the deluge that inflicted heavy damage on vast tracts of land especially in Kedarnath valley," Disaster Management Minister Yashpal Arya told the media.

Meanwhile, local authorities are gearing up for a mass cremation in the flood-ravaged holy town of Kedarnath amid concerns of an outbreak of disease from rotting bodies. "Large amounts of clarified butter and firewood have been ferried by helicopters and a mass cremation of the dead would be done," the official said.

More than 80,000 people have been evacuated since monsoon floods swept the state on June 16. Monsoon floods triggered landslides and washed away towns and roads.

Related:

At least 5,000 killed in flood in N. India: official

NEW DELHI, June 23 (Xinhua) -- At least 5,000 people have been killed by flash flood in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand last week, said a government official on Sunday.

"At least 5,000 people must have been killed in the deluge that inflicted heavy damage on vast tracts of land especially in Kedarnath valley," disaster management minister Yashpal Arya told the media. Full story

22,000 still stranded as bad weather hampers rescue operations in flood-hit northern Indian

NEW DELHI, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Rescue operations in the flood- hit northern Indian state of Uttarakhand have been halted due to bad weather, with about 22,000 people still stranded in various places, authorities said Sunday.Full story

Bad weather halts rescue operations in flood-hit northern India

NEW DELHI, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Indian authorities Sunday said that rescue operations have been halted in the flood-hit northern Indian state of Uttarakhand due to bad weather, even though more than 22,000 people are still stranded in various places.

"Helicopters, pilots, food packages everything is ready, but we can't fly because of bad weather. We may get a window of opportunity for an hour or two to fly, will try to save as many as possible," Wing Commander RC Pathak of the Indian Air Force told the media.Full story

70,000 evacuated from flood-ravaged Indian state, death toll rises to 680

NEW DELHI, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Indian authorities have evacuated a total of 70,000 people from flood-ravaged areas in the northern state of Uttarakhand while 22,000 remained stranded and official death toll attained 680, officials said Saturday.

Over 10,000 people were evacuated on Saturday from various upper reaches of flood-ravaged Uttarakhand, including the worst- affected Kedarnath, the Press Trust of India quoted officials as saying.Full story

Indian gov't intensifies rescue, relief operation in flood-ravaged northern state

NEW DELHI, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Indian government Thursday intensified rescue and relief operations in the northern state of Uttarakhand, where hundreds are believed to have been killed by a massive flooding caused by an early monsoon, said government officials.

Hundreds of pilgrims were evacuated by choppers from a 1,000- year-old old Hindu holy site, the Kedarnath town.Full story

Editor: Wang Yuanyuan
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