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More than 500 people killed in floods in India

  |   June 21, 2013 at 4:42 PM
NEW DELHI, June 21 (UPI) -- The death toll from floods and mudslides in India's Uttarakhand state has passed 500 and about 5,000 people are missing, officials said.

So far, 556 bodies have been found floating in floodwaters or stuck in mud, the BBC reported Friday.

The army is working on recovering the bodies, said Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.

Press Trust of India reported many as 33,152 people have been evacuated from their homes over the past few days during relief and rescue operations being carried out by the national and state governments.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters trains and aircraft have been deployed to the area to remove local residents.

Officials said the floods and mudslides have caused extensive damage to the area.

Agriculture Minister Harak Singh Rawat said: "It will take us at least five years to recover from the extensive damages caused to the entire infrastructure network in the Kedarnath area, which is the worst affected."

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