India floods, following heavy monsoon rains, have hit the northern state of Uttarakhand leaving at least 26 people dead and many buildings destroyed over the weekend and on Monday.
The monsoon rains, an annual occurrence, came a month early this year one official said. The rains began Saturday morning and Monday have yet to end. On Sunday alone, the state’s capitol was reported to have accumulated more than eight and a half inches of rain.
The India floods have swept houses away and collapsed others. In the Himalaya foothills region, major landslides have done their share of destruction as well.
In one area, a group of over 10,000 Hindu pilgrims found themselves stranded on a mountain pass leading to a sacred religious site. Landslides closed paths off of the mountain, and reports say the pilgrims are being evacuated via helicopter.
Helicopters are also reported to be in use by army and paramilitary units to rescue many individuals stranded on rooftops.
Even India’s capitol, Delhi, is seeing excessive rains with many roads flooding to knee-deep waters. Transportation was heavily affected with many commuters struggling to get to work on time and flights facing delays and cancellations.
The northern states of Punjab and Haryana are also experiencing the heavy rains. Uttarakhand is receiving the worst of the flooding, however, as the River Ganges and several tributaries merge in the northern state.
Meteorologists are predicting another three days of rain, at the least. Authorities worry that places already hit hard by the devastating waters have yet to see the worst of the floods this season.
The early rains were originally met with cheer, seen as much needed relief for India’s farmers beset by dry conditions and poor growth this season. Hope turned to fear as the rains kept falling without end.
The India floods continue to cause damage to the north and, as the dramatic videos below show, are washing away entire buildings including a three-story apartment complex: