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"the local administration is diligently working to clear the debris in order to rescue individuals who may still be trapped"
On Monday, Indian authorities said that at least 58 people were killed, nine of them in a temple collapse, and many more were feared missing after intense rains caused floods and landslides in the nation.
Days of torrential downpours have washed away vehicles, demolished buildings and destroyed bridges in the northern Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
According to official data, in Himachal Pradesh, 50 people were killed in the past 24 hours, up from an earlier official toll of 41, including at least nine killed in the collapse of a Hindu temple in the state capital, Shimla.
"There is no previous record of such rains and more than 50 deaths in the state in a 24-hour period -- and this toll can go up further, because there are still about 20 people under the rubble," chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said in an official statement, adding that "the local administration is diligently working to clear the debris in order to rescue individuals who may still be trapped."
Sukhu posted on social media a video of a raging torrent swamping roads, and he appealed to residents to stay indoors and avoid going near rivers.
According to several reports, at least eight others have also been killed since Friday in neighboring Uttarakhand state; and thousands of people have been stranded, with key roads, power lines and communication networks disrupted. Schools in the state had been shut.
The President of India, Droupadi Murmu, said she was "hurt with the loss of lives in accidents because of heavy rains" and offered her condolences to the families who have suffered in Himachal Pradesh.
हिमाचल प्रदेश में अतिवृष्टि के कारण हुए दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण हादसों में अनेक लोगों की मृत्यु के समाचार से मुझे बहुत दुख हुआ है। मैं शोक-संतप्त परिवारों के प्रति गहन संवेदना व्यक्त करती हूं और घायलों के शीघ्र स्वस्थ होने की कामना करती हूं।
I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of many people in unfortunate accidents due to excessive rains in Himachal Pradesh. I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish the injured a speedy recovery.
Rescue teams in Uttarakhand raced to remove debris after people were feared buried when heavy rainfall triggered landslides.
Furthermore, five people were buried under the debris after a landslide hit a resort near a yoga retreat in Rishikesh on the banks of the river Ganges.
Several forecast show that several riverside towns and villages in both states were at risk of flash floods from the heavy rain in the region.