The authorities of the northern Indian State of Uttarakhand reported that the total number of people missing after landslides and flood is 4083. However, this data is not yet final. The roll-call list made by the authorities contains 3991 Indians (including 1 thousand and 356 women and 421 children) and 92 citizen of Nepal. In neighboring Uttarakhand State of Uttar Pradesh, there are 1142 people missing.
“We are in the process of issuing death certificates to the families of missing persons. The necessary formalities will be completed within two weeks,” reported the local authorities. Earlier, it was reported about a thousand people found dead.
Local services put much efforts to make up lists of missing foreigners. Earlier, referring to the telecommunication data, it was reported about 305 people: Nepalese, Americans, British, and U.A.E. nationals. However, the Hindu said that so far only United States Embassy has approached the authorities of India, asking about the fate of two Americans of Indian descent. According to the Russian consulate in India, none of the Russians was hurt during the floods.
This year, the rainy season in northern India, including Delhi, started much earlier than usual. Heavy downpours 14-17 June led to a flood of the River Ganges and its tributaries, causing massive landslides. Environmentalists say the disaster in Uttarakhand has reached such proportions due to the decreasing forest area, poorly planned dams, and houses construction in places where there is a danger of landslides. Many places located Uttarakhand are sacred to Hindus. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated only from the vicinity of Temple of Kedarnath Mandir. In the course of the rescue operation, where 55 Indian Air Force helicopters played the key role, about 110 thousand were evacuated.
The flood surprised even the worldly-wise Indians. Running water ran down not only bridges suspended over the River, but entire communities on its way. TV channels all over the world showed footage of crashing of the multistory building, after the rapid flow of undermined its base. In addition to the States of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, the flood hit some areas in the States of Himachal Pradeshand and Uttar Pradesh, and the border areas of neighboring Nepal.
According to eyewitnesses, a lot of people died from being bitten by poisonous snakes, found in abundance in the area. Once in the water, people were often faced with the reptiles that inevitably bit them in a bout of aggression.
The flood was caused by incessant monsoon rains, traditionally taking place in India from July to early autumn. However, this year the rains have been unusually heavy. According to Minister of Agriculture of the State of Uttarakhand Is Singh Ravata, rebuilding of the region infrastructure will take at least five years.
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