Death toll in Indian monsoon flooding exceeds 500

Associated Press
In this Thursday June 20, 2013 photo, the Kedarnath shrine, one of the holiest of Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, and other buildings around it are seen damaged following monsoon rains in at Kedarnath in the northern Indian state of Uttrakhand. A joint army and air force operation are trying to evacuate thousands of people stranded in the upper reaches of the state of Uttrakhand where days of rain had earlier washed out houses, temples, hotels and vehicles leading to deaths of over a hundred people amid fears that the death toll may rise much higher. (AP Photo)
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JOSHIMATH, India (AP) — A top official in a northern Indian state hit by heavy monsoon rains says more than 500 people died in the flooding and landslides.

Uttrakhand's Chief Minister Vijay Bahguna says 556 bodies have been noticed buried deep in slush and the army was trying to recover them. He spoke to CNN-IBN television channel on Friday.

Rescuers also Friday found 40 bodies floating in the River Ganges near Haridwar, a Hindu holy city. The heavy rains caused by the annual monsoon have also stranded tens of thousands, mostly pilgrims, in the mountainous region.

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