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Death toll up to 8 after Swiss Alps storm: Police

Agency Press France

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GENEVA — A sixth person has died after a group of 14 skiers were caught up in a storm, police said Tuesday, after the bodies of two climbers were also found elsewhere in the Swiss Alps.

“Late Tuesday morning, a sixth person died. The deceased was a 52-year-old Bulgarian woman,” police in Valais canton said in a statement.

Bad weather in the Pigne d’Arolla area of the Swiss Alps on Sunday had caught the group of skiers by surprise.

The group had set out from the Dix rest-stop and had intended to make it to Vignettes to sleep, trekking along a route called The Serpentine.

The manager of a rest-stop in the remote mountain region sent out a call for help at dawn on Monday, triggering a major relief operation that involved seven helicopters, police said.

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One person, a 59-year-old Italian national who was serving as a guide for the group, was found dead on the scene following a fall, police said.

Four other Italian nationals, two couples aged 45 and 53, died in hospital Monday.

Three more people, a 72-year-old Swiss man, a 56-year-old Frenchwoman and a 43-year-old Italian woman, remained in serious condition, police said, adding that one of the cases was considered life-threatening.

Others in the group were merely suffering from ‘mild hypothermia’. All the families had been informed of the tragedy, police said.

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167 people killed in India monsoon floods

Gorkha Post

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NEW DELHI — At least 167 people have been killed and more than one lakh people forced to live in relief camps across the Indian state of Kerala after monsoon floods badly hit the state.

While torrential rains, overflowing rivers and a series of landslips have cut off vast swathes of land in the state, the Kochi International Airport has been shut till Aug 26 and Southern Railway and Kochi Metro have suspended their operations.

Tens of thousands of people in the state have been stranded by extensive flooding as the death toll from the torrential monsoon continues to climb, according to officials.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said 167 people have died in the state — more than 100 of them in the last 36 hours — and issued a fresh rain alert for the battered state.

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Rescue efforts have been progressing on a war footing and Mr Vijayan’s office said he had spoken to PM Modi again this morning. Four aircraft and three Coast Guard ships have been brought in to rescue people marooned in areas cut off by vast stretches of water.

The state’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Twitter that 25 boats with members of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were sent to Pathanamthitta, central Kerala, and all the boats, including fishing boats, would be used to expedite rescue operations in flooded areas.

he further warned of a grimmer situation as more rain has been forecast till Saturday. “The Centre has sanctioned more men and material,” Vijayan said after a conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Central leaders.

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