India floods: Death toll rises amid heavy rain

Bulldozer and other vehicles are drifted in a flooded river in Uttarkashi district, India, Monday, June 17, 2013 In Uttarakhand, the worst-hit state, floods washed vehicles away

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The death toll from flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rain in northern India has risen to 70, media reports say.

At least 45 people have died in Uttarakhand state, while flood-related deaths have also been reported in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Over 150 buildings in Uttarakhand have been damaged, and at least one building washed away.

Some 75,000 pilgrims on their way to shrines in the region are stranded.

At least 15 people were killed in flood-related incidents in Uttar Pradesh after floods in Saharanpur district, state-run broadcaster Doordarshan reported.

And in Himachal Pradesh, at least 10 people were killed in landslides in Kinnaur district.

Officials in Uttarakhand, the worst-hit state, said several people were missing and a number of vehicles and a stationary helicopter had been swept away by floods.

On Monday, 57 people were rescued by air force helicopters from different parts of the state, the authorities said. Many people living near the swollen rivers have been moved to relief camps.

Officials said that heavy rains were continuing in Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts, and the Ganges river was flowing above the danger mark.

Heavy rains have also been reported in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana.

The monsoon season generally lasts from June to September, bringing rain which is critical to India's farming output.

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