More Than 5,700 Missing In Floods Now Presumed Dead

LUCKNOW, India (July 16, 20130--More than 5,700 people who’ve been missing since last month's devastating floods in northern India are now presumed dead, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said Tuesday.

Bahuguna said the Uttarakhand state government would give financial compensation to the families of people who may have perished in the floods and landslides that hit the Himalayan region in June.

The government earlier set the death toll at 600, but repeatedly stressed that it would be significantly higher.

Bahuguna said recovery operations to locate the missing would continue.

Hundreds of thousands of Hindus visit Uttarakhand's temple towns during the summer.

Usually the visitors return before July, when monsoon rains make the mountainous area much more treacherous, but this year, unprecedented heavy rains fell around mid-June and caught many unaware.

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