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70 believed dead as bus in Kashmir swept away in flooding

Monsoon flooding has ravaged the area.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Sept. 4, 2014 at 8:53 AM

SRINAGAR , India, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- At least 70 people are believed dead after a bus was swept away by a flooded river in Indian-held Kashmir Thursday, authorities said.

Reports said the bus was carrying a wedding party, including a bride and groom. The accident occurred in the Rajouri district Kashmir's Jammu region, which is experiencing its worst flooding in 22 years due to excessive rainfall. In separate incidents, at least 14 other people have drowned or have been buried by mudslides.

At least 100 villages in the Kashmir valley, near the Himalaya Mountains, have been flooded by overflowing rivers and lakes. The Jhelum River crested 1.5 meters (five feet) above its danger level. The only highway connecting the region to the rest of India has been closed.

"Bridges have washed away and houses have been damaged at many places," said Omar Abdullah, the region's chief minister.

Landslides during monsoon season, from June through September, are not uncommon in the area.

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