LUCKNOW, India – A top Indian official says more than 5,700 people missing since last month's devastating floods that ravaged northern India are now presumed dead.
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.
The government had earlier put the death toll at 600 but repeatedly stressed that it would be significantly higher.
Bahuguna said recovery operations to locate the missing would continue.
Hundreds of thousands of Hindus visit Uttarakhand's temple towns during the summer. Usually the visitors return before July, when monsoon rains make the mountainous area much more treacherous.
This year, unprecedented heavy rains fell around mid-June and caught many unaware.