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Death toll in North Indian floods hits almost 6000

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Indian military personnel throw a rock with a rope attached across a river to help rescue pilgrims in Uttarakhand State, on June 22, 2013.

The government in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand says nearly 6,000 people who went missing in last month’s flash floods north of the country are presumed dead.

Tourists, pilgrims and local residents were swept away when floods caused by torrential monsoon rains hit the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in June.

Some 1,000 people were confirmed dead at the time and thousands of others were listed as missing.

Local officials say more than 5,700 people missing will now be presumed dead, and the process of compensating their families will begin imminently.

“Compensation to their families will begin tomorrow (Tuesday) on the assumption that they (the missing) are dead,” the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Vijay Bahuguna, said in the state capital Dehradun.

Meanwhile, many of the affected regions are still cut off as connecting roads have been washed away.

The local administration has announced that the temple town of Kedarnath, one of the worst affected areas, will be closed to the public in the several coming months.

Hundreds of relief workers are also struggling to provide relief to communities in remote towns where thousands who have lost their homes are living in temporary shelters.


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