At least 22 killed as heavy rains trigger floods in northern India

At least 22 people have died and others are missing in floods triggered by heavy rains in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, officials have said.

he Indian Meteorological Department predicted that heavy to very heavy rain would continue to fall in the state for the next two days.

Jyoti Negi, who heads the state’s Disaster Management Cell, said 18 deaths were reported in the Himalayan resort town of Nainital, two in Almorah and one each in Champawat and Udham Singh Nagar districts.

At least eight people were missing and several others were trapped under debris, officials said. The army deployed helicopters to help with rescue efforts.

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Heavy rains have hit the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand (Mustafa Quraishi/AP)

Several days of heavy rain have flooded roads and destroyed bridges in the state. Nainital remained cut off from the rest of the state as roads leading to it were either blocked by landslides or washed away.

Videos shared on social media showed the Ganges River bursting its banks at Rishikesh, and the Nainital lake overflowing with floodwaters.

Flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains have already killed at least 28 people in southern Kerala state.

Landslides and floods are common in India’s Himalayan north. Scientists say they are becoming more frequent as global warming contributes to the melting of glaciers there.

In February, flash floods killed nearly 200 people and washed away houses in Uttarakhand. In 2013, thousands of people were killed in floods there.

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