UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday voiced his sadness at the loss of life and the damage to homes and infrastructure in India due to devastating floods in the northern state of Uttarakhand over the last week.
"He extends his sincere condolences to the people and Government of India, especially the families of those who have died, been injured or otherwise affected in this disaster," said a statement issued by the Secretary-General's spokesperson.
The unprecedented heavy rains triggered landslides and floods in the Ganges River last week, washing away thousands of houses and roads and cutting communication links in large areas of Uttarakhand.
Fresh rains, landslides and cloudburst today hampered impeding operations to evacuate over 10,000 stranded people. The official death toll as of yesterday was put at 680 while India's Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has said that the death toll will exceed the figure of 1,000.
Ban welcomed the swift response by India's disaster management authorities and said the United Nations stands ready to lend its assistance to emergency recovery and rebuilding efforts if needed.