Malaysians stranded in India flood-hit region safe, expected to reach New Delhi

NEW DELHI – Ten Malaysians stranded in India’s flood-hit Himachal Pradesh state are safe and expected to reach New Delhi soon, Malaysian Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) said.

It was reported earlier that 12 Malaysian hikers were missing in the Indian state as their families had lost contact with them.

However, the 12 included one Chinese and one British citizen, the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified in a statement on late Wednesday.

The High Commission of Malaysia in New Delhi was able to contact one of the stranded Malaysians and received information that all of them were safe in Manali town, Wisma Putra said.

The diplomatic mission is making efforts to bring the Malaysians to New Delhi on Thursday.

“If the evacuation plan goes smoothly, the group is expected to take a flight back to Malaysia on the same day,” the ministry said.

Heavy monsoon rains have caused floods and landslides in several parts of northern India. Himachal Pradesh appears to be the worst affected state, while there is also significant damage to roads and infrastructure in Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana.

About 90 people have lost their lives in Himachal in the current monsoon spell, while the death toll in Punjab and Haryana is 21, according to local media reports.

Twelve people were killed in rain-related incidents in a 24-hour period in the state of Uttar Pradesh, according to a government statement on Wednesday evening.

Authorities have sounded a flood alert for many districts in western Uttar Pradesh. In Delhi, thousands of people living near the Yamuna riverbank have been shifted to safer places. The Yamuna’s water level in Delhi breached the danger mark on Wednesday after neighbouring Haryana this week began discharging huge amounts of water from its Hathnikund barrage.

The Indian Finance Ministry on Wednesday released about US$920 million to help 22 states in the wake of heavy rains across the country. – Bernama