Skip to main content

Up to 1,000 feared dead in India floods, landslides

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
updated 8:37 PM EDT, Sun June 23, 2013
Pedestrians run from water splashing over a sea wall in Mumbai on Monday, June 24. Authorities are scrambling to rescue thousands of people trapped after floods and landslides ravaged north India, leaving up to 1,000 feared dead. Pedestrians run from water splashing over a sea wall in Mumbai on Monday, June 24. Authorities are scrambling to rescue thousands of people trapped after floods and landslides ravaged north India, leaving up to 1,000 feared dead.
HIDE CAPTION
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
India lashed by monsoon rains
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The exact number of those killed will not be clear until the mess is cleaned up
  • Uttarakhand state is the worst-hit

(CNN) -- Indian authorities scrambled to rescue thousands of people trapped after floods and landslides ravaged the Himalayan region, leaving up to 1,000 feared dead.

The exact number of those killed will not be clear until the muddy waters are cleaned up and the bodies recovered, said Vijay Bahuguna, the chief minister of Uttarakhand state, which is the worst-hit.

Survivors of India floods recount horror
Monsoon rains drench India, cause floods
Flood washes cars away in India

"Certainly, the number of the dead is much higher than 550 ... and it could be around 1,000 as figures coming in suggest," he said Saturday.

Emergency operations include the military and all forms of transportation, including trains moving people for free.

About 70,000 have been evacuated since the floods hit this month.

Barrages of water, mud and rocks have hit scores of towns and villages in the Indian state, inundating homes, shrines, roads and vehicles.

Bahuguna, has described the disaster as a "Himalayan tsunami."

Dotted with temples and often referred to as "the Land of Gods," Uttarakhand attracts large numbers of pilgrims from around India to its mountainous reaches. Those travelers, many of them far from home and short on belongings, are now caught up in the destruction.

Thousands of rescue workers are trying to reach more than 50,000 people cut off by the waters. Bahuguna told CNN's sister network CNN-IBN on Friday night that the death toll was 556 but could rise. The bodies "were either buried or floating in slush," he said. It will take 15 days to complete evacuations in the province, he added.

Other parts of northern India, including New Delhi, have also been hit by flooding, but Uttarakhand has suffered the worst of the devastation.

The rains over the region have eased in the past few days, aiding in the rescue of about 30,000 people, Bahuguna said.

Gurjit Singh, who had traveled to the town of Gobindghat with his 12-year-old son, described a chaotic scene as people tried to escape the flooding last week.

"There was nothing but death in front of us," Singh said Thursday after getting out of a crowded car ferrying people to dry, flat land. "Now that we've got out, we feel like we've got a second life."

His son, Rana Udesh Pratap, said the trek to safety was long.

"I held my father's hand and walked and walked and walked on a narrow path," he said. The two had made a pilgrimage to Uttarakhand from the nearby state of Punjab to visit the Sikh Hemkunt Sahib shrine.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
updated 4:10 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
The U.S. and several Arab nations carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, intensifying the campaign against the militant group.
updated 12:45 PM EDT, Sat September 27, 2014
A mysterious Chicago fire and possible suicide attempt causes massive disruption in the U.S.
updated 11:03 AM EDT, Sat September 27, 2014
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
updated 9:54 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
updated 5:10 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
Emma Watson lent her name and her glittery profile to the cause of feminism at the United Nations.
updated 11:29 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
updated 10:23 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT