Thursday, June 20, 2013

At least 60 feared dead as monsoon lashes north India

Space Daily via AFP: Torrential rains and flash floods washed away homes and roads in north India, leaving at least feared 60 people dead and thousands stranded, as the annual monsoon hit the country earlier than normal, officials said Tuesday.

Authorities called in military helicopters to try to rescue residents and pilgrims cut off by rising rivers and landslides triggered by more than three days of rain in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, officials said.

"We are unable to confirm the number of deaths since most of the communication lines have broken down across the state," the state minister for disaster and relief said. "But at least 60 people are feared dead and nearly 50,000 are stranded," Yashpal Arya told AFP.

Among those killed were four members of the same family, who died when their home was hit by a landslide as they slept, in Kasta village near the state capital of Dehradun, local officials said....

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