The death toll in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand may cross the reported 1,000 mark after the debris is cleared, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Monday.
"Reports suggested the toll was around 1000, but it could rise as the debris is cleared," he told reporters after flagging of new PCR vans of Delhi Police at India Gate here.
Shinde said the authorities will now evacuate victims from the temple-town of Badrinath, adding that rains had hindered the rescue operations by helicopters.
"It was raining there yesterday and there is rain todayas well. Rains hinder the rescue operations by thehelicopters," the Home Minister said.
Despite inclement weather, he said the rescue operationswere on. The authorities, he said, decided to evacuate people fromKedarnath first because they were in a precarious conditionwhere as those in Badrinath were relatively better placed.
"There were arrangements for food and water inBadrinath," he said.