India landslide strands 13,000 pilgrims near Hindu site

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LUCKNOW, India — A landslide caused by pre-monsoon rains stranded about 13,000 Indian pilgrims near a revered Hindu temple site in a mountainous area of northern India on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, said Amit Chandola, a spokesman for the state government of Uttarakhand.

Authorities rushed food and drinking water to the stranded pilgrims and hoped to clear the debris soon from blocked roads leading to the Badrinath temple so the pilgrims could continue their journey, Chandola said.

Massive monsoon floods and landslides in Uttarakhand state killed more than 1,000 people and flattened thousands of buildings in 2013.

The region is nearly 530 kilometres (330 miles) northeast of New Delhi.

Uttarakhand state is a popular summer vacation destination for tourists seeking to escape the torrid heat of India’s plains. It is also a religious pilgrimage site with four temple towns in the Garhwal Himalayan range.

The tourists usually return home before monsoon rains begin in July.

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