The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 06/24/2013 3:37 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 06/24/2013 5:06 AM
JOSHIMATH, India - Soldiers recovered more bodies as they cleared debris in villages flattened by landslides and monsoon floods in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, bringing the death toll from torrential rains above 1,000, the home minister said Monday.
Army officials suspended rescue operations after bad weather early Monday reduced visibility in the mountainous area. Army troops are attempting to rescue more than 10,000 stranded people, many in the temple town of Badrinath.
Two landslides early Monday blocked roads that had been cleared by soldiers only a few days earlier.
"We are just waiting for the weather to clear up and visibility to improve before the aircraft can take off," said R.S. Brar, an air force official in Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand.
Meteorological officials predicted more heavy rain in Uttarakhand over the next few days.
Home Minister Sushikumar Shinde told reporters that the death toll will exceed the figure of 1,000 given Sunday by the Uttarakhand government. More bodies were being found as troops and disaster rescue teams cleared debris from buildings and houses destroyed by flood waters, Shinde said.
The unprecedented heavy rains triggered landslides and floods in the Ganges River last week, washing away thousands of houses and roads and cutting communication links in large areas of Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand is a popular summer vacation destination for tourists seeking to escape the torrid heat of the plains. It is also a religious pilgrimage site with four temple towns in the Garhwal Himalayan range. Most of the people stranded in Uttarakhand are Hindu pilgrims at the four revered shrines.
The tourists usually return before monsoon rains begin in July. But this year, early rains caught hundreds of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and local residents by surprise.
Twenty other people died from monsoon floods in Uttar Pradesh state. Across the border in Nepal, the home ministry said at least 39 people died and 20 others were missing in landslides and monsoon flooding.
Flooding is an annual occurrence in India, which depends on monsoon rains to sustain agriculture. But the heavy downpours also cause extensive loss of lives and property.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Community members in shock over death of child
Coming attraction: pop-up downtown drive-in theatre
Winnipeg's crime rate continues to drop
Teen takes responsibility for killing fellow high school football player with surprise punch
Alaska tourist train derails, injuring 9 slightly
South Korea unveils stimulus after ferry sinking
Scottish identity celebrated as Glasgow Games open
Shoppers Drug Mart becomes drive-thru
Teen hockey players facing assault charges
Florida man fined $13,000 for trying to smuggle gun into Canada
Calgary man reunited with beloved Corvette
NFL suspends Jaguars WR Sanders 4 games
Blue Bombers prepare lineup for Friday match against BC Lions
History is not on their side
A future for the Lac-Megantic locomotive?
Crash kills US teen pilot seeking world record
US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages
Repurpose pay phones for truly public Wi-Fi
Setback for Nygård in Bahamas
Seattle's Sidney Rice announces his retirement
Crime rate down, so is severity; StatsCan
Holmes lawyers question firearms analysis
More out-of-province fire crews sent to B.C.
Tyrannosaur a team player? B.C. fossils say yes
Meat supplier in China scandal has global reach
Harper gov't proposes easing gun law
Broncos owner giving up control due to Alzheimer's
Report recommends ways to improve STARS
When in Rome...
Man charged after human trafficking investigation
6 indicted in U.S. in StubHub accounts case
Jets sign Chiarot to new two-way contract
Trump: Hotel in capital to be among world's best
European carriers suspend more Tel Aviv flights
PepsiCo raises outlook, looks to new Lay's flavours
Lockdown lifted at US Air Force base
Thousands of accused people being needlessly detained: civil rights advocates
Death sentence given in AP photographer's killing
Winnipeg's decline in crime rate well ahead of national average
Pallister says the province can build Lake Manitoba outlets much faster