India monsoon floods kill at least 560, thousands missing

By REUTERS
June 22, 2013 16:23

NEW DELHI - Flash floods and landslides triggered by early monsoon rains have killed at least 560 people in northern India and left tens of thousands missing, officials said on Saturday, with the death toll expected to rise significantly.

Houses and small apartment blocks on the banks of the Ganges, India's longest river and sacred to Hindus, have toppled into the rushing, swollen waters and been swept away with cars and trucks.

Thousands of military servicemen are involved in rescue operations, with air force helicopters plucking survivors, many of them Hindu pilgrims and tourists, from the foothills of the Himalayas.

About 33,000 people had been rescued so far this week, according to the home ministry. Railways were running special trains from the devastated areas to take people home.

The rains had eased on Saturday but more rain is expected early next week.


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