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
Police identify two men slain downtown
Provincial investigators seize more than 60,000 contraband cigarettes
Man who broke into home and climbed into bed beside a 15-year-old girl gets 4 year sentence
Homeless people suffer disproportionately higher rates of violent crime
Bowman gives condolences to families of two men killed Saturday
Downtown homicides hit hard in homeless community
Pallister pans provincial budget
Orioles' game in Baltimore postponed due to safety concerns
Survey says visitors are "overwhelmingly satisfied" with CMHR
'Batman' trial tries to look inside Colorado shooter's mind
Mayweather's history of domestic violence is proof that in boxing, money is king
Latest on police-custody death: Guard was 'last resort'
Scott joins Team Canada for FIFA Women's World Cup
Killer preying on the homeless
RCMP discover grow-op in RM of Reynolds, arrest man
No headway on new contract for transit workers after full day of negotiations
Cdn in Nepal says Ottawa not doing enough
Police dog helps track down suspects after ATVs stolen
Sandler's attempt at satire retreads worn-out racist portrayals of aboriginal peoples
Graffiti Art Programming to host three events for National Youth Arts Week
Morley, Vega cut from Bombers
Whitney Rose stopping by WECC June 2
Day of Mourning march to commemorate workers killed or injured on the job
Nepal quake death toll tops 4,000; villages plead for aid
Morrissey dismissed from Yes! Winnipeg
U of W hosting public forum on racism later today
Rob Ford driver had $900 in drug money: cop
Local CEO elected to World Trade Centers Association board of directors
Winnipeg weather forecast looks mighty good
Relief for families of Manitoba travellers
CMHR wins four innovation awards
Fifth Quick Care clinic to be located at 115 Vermillion Road
Niakwa Country Club to host 2016 PGA Tour Canada’s Players Cup
Budget blitz: Tories spending $13.5M on ads
Senate tries to keep residency report secret
Ashton a shoo-in for shuffled cabinet, but rebels' fate in question
New Canadian defence chief appointed
Local charities under scrutiny for their political activities