India floods: Buildings washed away as 19 die

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Media captionVideo footage shows apartment blocks in Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand surrounded by flood waters, before one collapses

Floods and landslides have killed at least 19 people and destroyed buildings after heavy rain in North India.

Fifteen people died in Uttarakhand state. Another four lost their lives in Himachal Pradesh, officials say.

Footage showed a three-storey apartment building being washed away in the town of Uttarkashi. Reports said at least three people died - more are missing.

Another 40 people are unaccounted for in Uttarakhand. Casualty figures are expected to rise.

Officials said 12 people were missing after the apartment block was washed into the Ganges in Uttarkashi in northern Uttarakhand. A temple was also swept away.

Thousands of people who were on their way to a pilgrimage in Uttarakhand have been stranded after a number of bridges collapsed on Sunday.

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.

Senior Uttarakhand official Piyush Rotela told the BBC that the Rudraprayag and Kedarnath areas had been worst affected.

A number of houses had been damaged by landslides.

Local journalist Nandan Bisht told the BBC that more than 200 vehicles had been swept away by flood waters near Badrinath.

In Himachal Pradesh, four people were killed in landslides in Kinnaur district.

Local police chief G Shiva told the BBC that a family of five, including three children, were missing after their house was struck by a landslide.

"Rescue teams are on the way to the village, but local people say there is very little chance of the family surviving," Mr Shiva said.

Heavy snowfall has also been reported from Chitkul area in Sangla valley bordering Tibet - an unusual occurrence during summer.

India's capital, Delhi, has also been deluged after recent blistering summer heat. Many roads were flooded on Monday, and commuters had a hard time reaching work.

Delhi airport was also affected after more than 10cm (four inches) of rain fell in under five hours on Sunday afternoon. Passengers had to wade knee deep in water to get to and from Terminal 3.

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