India floods death toll soars to 6,500

Other News Materials 24 June 2013 07:13 (UTC +04:00)

Army suspends rescue helicopter flights in Uttarakhand state due to dense fog as death toll rises, Al Jazeera reported.

Army officials said bad weather has hampered efforts to evacuate thousands of people stranded in northern India where nearly 6,500 people are reported dead in monsoon flooding and landslides.

Officials in the affected state of Uttarakhand on Sunday raised the death toll from 1,000 to 6,500.

Brigadier Uma Maheshwar said on Sunday that the army had suspended helicopter flights to rescue people stranded in the state after dense fog descended on the Himalayan region.

Instead, troops built makeshift bridges and people were being brought to safety by road.

Thousands of people were still stranded in remote mountain valleys in Uttarakhand, a popular pilgrimage destination, trapped in up to 100 towns and villages cut off since Sunday.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that 34,000 people have been evacuated so far but 50,000 were still stranded in the region.

Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman, reporting from Dehradun, the Uttrakhand state capital, said that there are villages that are completely submerged and that access to roadways is becoming a major issue for the military, who are in the process of clearing it up.