LUCKNOW, India – Torrential rains triggered heavy floods and landslides that poured down hills in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, killing at least nine people by Friday and destroying dozens of homes, officials said.
The worst-affected villages were in the remote mountainous districts of Pithoragarh and Chamoli, state government official B.P. Ghidyal said.
Rescuers recovered nine bodies and were searching for dozens more feared missing in the area, about 510 kilometers (320 miles) northeast of New Delhi, Ghidyal said, without elaborating. The Press Trust of India news agency said at least 25 people were missing in seven villages in Pithoragarh.
Some people were trapped under toppled houses and debris unleashed by the landslides, PTI quoted district management official R.S. Rana as saying.
Uttarakhand state has many Hindu temples which are popular destinations for pilgrims as well as tourists seeking to escape the summer heat further south. During the heavy rains, officials temporarily blocked pilgrimages to some temples as a safety precaution.
Uttarakhand was badly hit by monsoon flooding and landslides in 2013, when at least 1,000 people died in the state as it experienced its heaviest rains in nearly 80 years.
Monsoon season in India begins in June and ends in October.