Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Soldiers evacuate flood victims

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) use a rope to rescue stranded pilgrims cross a river swollen by flood waters (AP)

Soldiers are working to evacuate tens of thousands of people still stranded in northern India where nearly 600 people have been killed in monsoon flooding and landslides.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that with bad weather and heavy rainfall predicted over the next two days, there was an added urgency to reach the approximately 50,000 people still stranded in the flood-hit Uttarakhand state.

Mr Shinde said air force helicopters were dropping food and drinking water to those stranded in inaccessible areas.

More than 30,000 people have been rescued from the worst-hit districts over the past five days.

Thousands of homes have been washed away or damaged in the state.

Monsoon flooding is an annual occurrence in India, causing enormous loss of life and property.