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More than 1,000 Dead in Northern India Flooding

June 24, 2013; 4:14 AM

The Indian Monsoon arrived ahead of schedule across the state of Uttarakhand. The monsoon is supposed to begin closer to July 1. But, days of heavy rain last week swept away entire villages.

More than just the usual residents of the Himalayan state have been swept up in the flooding. Tourist and pilgrims, numbering in the tens of thousands were visiting Hindu holy sites across Uttarakhand.

The pilgrimage know as Char Dham Yatra, takes pilgrims to four of the holiest shrines across Uttarakhand between May and November.

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The death toll has already surpassed 1,000. But, there are reports from the Indian press that thousands more remain missing.

During the period of June 13 to June 19, an average of 322 mm (12.68 inches)of rain has affected the state of Uttarakhand. The normal rainfall for this period is 34 mm (1.34 inches). These rainfall stats are courtesy of the India Meteorological Department.

In recent days, the intense rainfall has subsided. But, another surge of monsoon moisture is expected to affect Uttarakhand and surround areas next week.

This rainfall is expected to total 75-150 mm (3-6 inches) in many areas, reaching some of the areas hardest hit by the recent flooding. Local rainfall total of 250 mm (10 inches) or more will be possible by

next weekend.

The only good news for Uttarakhand is that the heaviest rainfall through Thursday appears to be off to the east, which may help some rescue efforts, however they will not be immune to rounds of rainfall which can be locally heavy.

In this Thursday June 20, 2013, photo, a man snaps pictures in an area devastated following heavy monsoon rains at Kedarnath, in the northern Indian state of Uttrakhand. (AP Photo)

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