Nearly 6,000 missing after floods in Uttarakhand

NEW DELHI Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:05pm IST

1 of 3. Buildings destroyed during floods are seen next to the Alaknanda river in Govindghat in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand June 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India officially declared on Monday that nearly 6,000 people were missing a month after flash floods ravaged large parts of Uttarakhand, but stopped short of saying they were presumed dead.

The figure of 5,748, based on tallies of missing persons from around the country, was the first official estimate following weeks in which the numbers of dead and missing fluctuated wildly from a few hundred to several thousand.

For slideshow, Uttarakhand flood crisis reut.rs/11H7aId

Their families will now be eligible for financial relief, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna told a news conference, adding that his government would pay 150,000 rupees to families in the state, besides compensation from the federal government.

"We are not getting into the controversy whether the missing persons are dead or not," said Bahuguna. "We are abiding by what the families of the victims say, and if they think that they haven't come back and have no hope as well, (then) we are providing them monetary relief."

The official death toll still stands at 580, an official of the National Disaster Management Authority told Reuters. More than 4,600 of the missing in Uttarakhand had come from elsewhere in India, said the official, who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Record rains in June caused devastating landslides and flooded rivers in Uttarakhand, trapping tens of thousands of Hindu devotees, who flock there each year on a pilgrimage to the temple towns of Kedarnath, Gangotri, Badrinath and Yamunotri.

The rains buried villages in silt and washed away roads, while raging rivers like the Ganges swept away homes on their banks.

The disaster, dubbed a "Himalayan tsunami" by officials and media, prompted one of the largest airlifts in the history of the Indian air force, as helicopters flew hundreds of sorties to rescue residents and pilgrims and drop thousands of kilograms of relief material.

More than 100,000 people were rescued by the air force and security force personnel on the ground, officials said.

(Additional reporting by Nita Bhalla,; Writing by Sruthi Gottipati, Editing by Ross Colvin and Clarence Fernandez)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Markets

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Segway in India

Segway in India

Segway’s India business pegs hope on tech-savvy Modi  Full Article 

Power Outage

Power Outage

Mumbai hit by power cuts  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Gold imports, premiums to jump on festive demand - top refiner  Full Article 

Economic Worries

Economic Worries

Pakistan's promises to IMF in doubt as protests sap economy   Full Article 

Islamic Finance

Islamic Finance

Basel III deposit challenge looms over Islamic banks   Full Article 

Antitrust Probes

Antitrust Probes

U.S. business lobby says concerned China antitrust probes unfair.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage