Christian Aid launches India floods appeal

More bodies were being found as troops and disaster rescue teams cleared debris from buildings and houses destroyed by flood waters.(AP)

Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal in response to deadly flooding and landslides that have devastated parts of northern India.

Some 20,000 people are missing and Disaster Management Minister Yashpal Arya said as many as 5,000 people may have died.

The floods were triggered by heavy monsoon rains. In the worst affected Uttarakhand state, where more than 800 people have died, the BBC reports that mass cremations are taking place.

Damage to roads and bridges has left around 10,000 pilgrims stranded, and up to a thousand homes have been damaged or washed away in Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts.

In Uttarkashi district, Christian Aid local partner organisation CASA has distributed food, bottled water, blankets, shelter and medicines to survivors. Needs in Rudraprayag district are currently being assessed.

SEEDS and IGSSS, also Christian Aid partner organisations, are preparing to provide humanitarian assistance and rebuild homes and livelihoods. Christian Aid has released an initial £100,000 for the relief effort.

Anand Kumar, Christian Aid's India country manager said: "Tragically the number of people who have lost their lives and who are missing is going to rise in the coming days following this disaster. Many areas still remain inaccessible which makes relief and rescue operations very difficult.

"Christian Aid remains in contact with partners and local organisations working in the region and is awaiting more information on the impact of the disaster in the upper reaches and surrounding villages."

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