Flood toll exceeds 100 in Nepal and India’s Uttarakhand
Flowing rivers washed away bridges like here in Chalthi, Uttarakhand
More than 100 people have died after heavy rains triggered flash floods in Uttarakhand state, northern India, and parts of Nepal.
The houses were submerged or crushed by rocks washed away by landslides.
About 50 people, including five from the same family, have died in Uttarakhand and a similar number in Nepal, and dozens more are missing in both countries.
Rains further south in the Indian state of Kerala also triggered deadly flooding, killing 39 more.
Six more bodies were found in Uttarakhand on Wednesday, bringing the death toll in the Himalayan state, a popular tourist spot, to 52.
Schools have been closed and religious and tourist activities suspended in the state.
The Ganges erupted in Rishikesh and the popular region of Nainital was badly affected.
Uttarakhand, which normally sees up to 30.5mm (1.2in) of rain for the entire month of October, recorded 328mm in a 24-hour period this week.
But the Indian meteorological department says precipitation is now decreasing.
Rainfall in Nepal may not abate so quickly.
The most affected areas are Panchthar district in eastern Nepal, and Ilam and Doti in western Nepal.
Rescuers were struggling to reach 60 people stranded for two days in the village of Seti in western Nepal, Reuters reported.
The Nepalese government gives $ 1,700 (£ 1,220) to the families of every flood victim.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced compensation of 400,000 rupees (£ 3,800; $ 5,300) for the families of the deceased and an additional 190,000 rupees for those whose homes were destroyed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter: “I am distressed by the loss of life due to heavy rains in parts of Uttarakhand. May the injured recover soon.”
While he attributed the heavy rains to the climate crisis, experts also cited hydropower projects in the upper Himalayas and excessive and often uncontrolled construction on steep slopes causing damage to the fragile ecology. of the region.
Experts also say higher temperatures have resulted in less snow in the Himalayas – and that, coupled with heavy rains, pushes large volumes of water downstream, triggering flash floods.
The southern coastal state of Kerala has also experienced heavy rains since Friday.
Thousands of people have been taken to safety, with more than 1,600 homes destroyed or damaged.