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Sat Aug 02 00:33:15 SAST 2014

India flood death toll tops 550

Sapa-AP | 21 June, 2013 17:56
A submerged statue of the Hindu Lord Shiva stands amid the flooded waters of river Ganges at Rishikesh in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.
Image by: STRINGER/INDIA / REUTERS

Flash floods and landslides have killed more than 550 people after torrential monsoon rains struck northern India, a minister told a local TV channel.

"556 bodies have been noticed by the army... either floating or buried in slush," Vijay Bahuguna, chief minister of the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand told CNN-IBN.

Rescuers also Friday found 40 bodies floating in the River Ganges near Haridwar, a Hindu holy city. The heavy rains caused by the annual monsoon have also stranded tens of thousands, mostly pilgrims, in the mountainous region.

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Sat Aug 02 00:33:15 SAST 2014 ::