The death toll in India’s monsoon floods has now reached at least 600, and may eventually get as high as 1,000. 40,000 people are still stranded in the mountains of Uttarakhand state, the worst hit area.
The early monsoon rains are said to be the heaviest in 60 years, and with more downpours expected, search and rescue efforts are being stepped up. 33,000 people have been saved so far, but the terrain is difficult, and roads and bridges have been washed away.
These are likely to be the deadliest monsoon floods in India since 2008 when more than 2,400 people were killed between June and September in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.
Perhaps the worst monsoon flood ever in India came in 1978 when up to 15,000 people were killed, and more than 40 million were driven from their homes. The disaster was made worse by a cyclone.