New Delhi: At least 40 people are feared dead following a fresh downpour that triggered flash floods and landslides in Uttarakhand, a state official said.
Several more people are still said to be missing, a spokesman at the chief minister's office, Om Prakash Sati, said on Sunday.
Remote Chamoli and Pithoragarh are said to be the worst affected districts in the state, the official added.
The state has so far confirmed 18 deaths, of whom 15 were from Pithoragarh. The official toll is expected to rise.
Thousands were feared stranded as landslides blocked hundreds of roads. The state authorities have asked people in low-lying areas to evacuate as a precautionary measure, he said.
Relief operations are under way, but incessant rains have hampered efforts and raised fears of flooding as rivers were close to their danger levels, Sati said.
Uttarakhand`s Chief Minister Harish Rawat, while talking to media, said 'there's no need to panic' adding, 'more teams from the state, central authorities, and other relief forces have all been kept on high alert as a precautionary measure.'