Indian authorities on Wednesday continued rescue operations in the north of the country, where heavy rains in recent days caused the death of 60 people, in addition to numerous landslides.

“More than 800 people were evacuated from low-lying areas of (Kangra district) as their villages became inaccessible due to high water level” in a reservoir nearby, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said on Twitter today.

“Evacuation operations are continuing,” he added.

Heavy rains in this state and neighboring Uttarakhand since last Sunday plunged entire cities into chaos and led to the blockage of some 700 roads, while water currents washed away buildings and overflowed river flows.

The rains have so far left 60 people dead in Himachal Pradesh since last weekend, Sukhu told India’s ANI news agency, bringing to more than 300 the death toll in this region since last July after the onset of monsoon rains.

Images posted on social networks show several landslides in this predominantly mountainous state, which have swept away dozens of homes and other structures such as Hindu temples.

Local authorities, along with members of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Army, are involved in rescue efforts to evacuate possible injured and missing persons, who number nearly a dozen in Shimla district, NDRF official B.S. Rajput told ANI.

The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister estimated the losses so far at over US$ 1.2 billion, while the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned that isolated but heavy rains will continue to fall in the region over the next two days.

Heavy rainfall will continue through Sunday in Uttarakhand, where authorities are working to evacuate dozens of people who have been cut off by helicopters, regional government chief Pushkar Singh Dhami said on Twitter.

Heavy rains cause significant human and material losses every year in South Asian countries, especially during the monsoon period between May and September.

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