Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Bad weather hampers rescue efforts

An Indian army soldier helps a flood affected man after being evacuated by a helicopter (AP)
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) use a rope to rescue stranded pilgrims cross a river swollen by flood waters (AP)
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel help stranded pilgrims on a makeshift bridge cross a stream of gushing floodwater at Govind Ghati, in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand (AP)

Bad weather was hampering efforts to evacuate thousands of people stranded in northern India where nearly 1,000 people have died in monsoon flooding and landslides.

Brigadier Uma Maheshwar said the army has suspended helicopter flights to rescue people stranded in Uttarakhand state after dense fog descended on the Himalayan region.

Instead, troops built makeshift bridges and people were being brought to safety by road.

Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said the death toll had reached 1,000. The exact number of people who have died in the torrential downpours and flooding of the Ganges River will be known once rescue efforts were over, he said.

Thousands of people were still stranded in remote mountain valleys in Uttarakhand, a popular pilgrimage destination.

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