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India floods leave 575 dead, 20,000 stranded

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

New Delhi, Jun 22 (EFE).- The death toll from flooding triggered by monsoon rains this month in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand has climbed to 575, while some 20,000 people remain stranded and are waiting to be rescued.

"In reality, many more bodies have been recovered, but we're more worried about saving people than in counting the dead," the interior secretary in Uttarakhand, Om Prakash, told Efe Saturday by phone.

Armed forces and rescue personnel have moved 73,000 people away from flooded areas in recent days.

But 20,000 others are still stranded in mountainous areas of the region due to damaged roads and bridges.

Flooding is frequent during the monsoon season in India, although this year the northern part of the country has received 68 percent more rain than usual.

India's agricultural sector, which directly or indirectly employs two-thirds of the country's workforce, relies on the monsoon rains to provide crops the water they need.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130622/india-floods-leave-575-dead-20000-stranded