Thousands of people are awaiting rescue in India’s Uttarakhand, following a heavy monsoon that caused mass flooding and landslides in the northern state.
Sushilkumar Shinde, India’s Minister for Home Affairs, confirmed 1,000 deaths, but warned that the number could rise. The final toll will not be known until rescue efforts are complete.
It is believed that up to 15,000 people could be stranded on remote, mountainous paths, including many devout Hindus on pilgrimages to the temple town of Badrinath.
Helicopter searches were suspended early on June 24 due to heavy fog. The Indian army has been reaching people by road and building makeshift bridges to bring them to safety.
The torrential rains, which broke early this year, caught out hundreds of thousands of residents, pilgrims and tourists.
The monsoon is believed to have been the heaviest in Uttarakhand for nearly 80 years. Forecasters expect more rain over the next few days.