x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Flash floods in northern India kill 34 and strand hundreds

The floods also destroyed 90 homes and 50 guesthouses, with scores more threatened.

DEHRADUN // Flash floods in northern India have killed at least 34 people and left hundreds of pilgrims stranded.

Twenty-three workers at a hydroelectric power plant in Uttarakhand state died after water gushed into the facility on Saturday, the state disaster-management minister, Yashpal Arya, said yesterday.

Three fire fighters also died in a riverside village in the state, which is in the Himalayan foothills.

"They were washed way from their fire station," said Mr Arya, adding there had been seven other deaths in the region since the floods began early on Saturday after heavy rains.

The state's Uttarkashi district is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site and about 700 pilgrims who were visiting shrines had been stranded, Mr Arya added.

They became trapped after the floods wiped out roads, cutting off 80 Uttarkashi villages from the rest of Uttarakhand. "Rescue teams have been sent" to help those affected, he said.

The floods also destroyed 90 homes and 50 guesthouses, with scores more threatened.

Torrential rains on Friday night also hit the nearby state of Himachal Pradesh, drowning a man in his vehicle, washing away several bridges and partly destroying a key motorway.