More than 5,700 people missing since last month’s (June 2013) devastating floods that ravaged northern India are now presumed dead, a top official said Tuesday. Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said Tuesday that the Uttarakhand state government would give financial compensation to the families of people who may have perished in the floods and landslides that hit the Himalayan region in June.
Bahuguna said recovery operations would continue, adding the exact number of people who died may never be known. “The search operations will continue till the family members of the missing are satisfied,” Bahuguna told a group of survivors Tuesday as the state government began handing out compensation checks to the families of each victim in the amount of 500,000 rupees ($8,350).
This years’ unprecedented heavy monsoon rains fell around mid-June, making mountainous roads much more treacherous.
Army and paramilitary soldiers and volunteers rescued more than 100,000 people who were stranded in remote areas cut off by washed-out roads and landslides. The air force and private companies made thousands of helicopter sorties to pick up people stuck on rooftops or marooned on hilltops and to drop off food and drinking water.
Bahuguna said the government would rebuild the worst-hit temple town of Kedarnath, where hundreds perished on June 16 when a sea of silt and flood water roared down a mountain valley, sweeping away everything in its path.
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