United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday voiced his sadness at the loss of life and the damage to homes and infrastructure in Uttarakhand.

"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 Ganga River last week, washing away thousands of houses and roads and cutting communication links in large areas of Uttarakhand.

The official death toll (till Monday) was put at 680 while India's Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that the death toll will exceed the figure of 1,000.

UN offers help for Uttarakhand disaster

Ban Ki-moon also offered help to rebuild disaster-hit Uttarakhand. Commending the response by India's disaster management authorities, Ban said, "The UN stands ready to lend its assistance to emergency recovery and rebuilding efforts if needed," he said.


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