New Delhi, India
Reuters

Floods unleashed by days of unseasonal heavy rain have wrecked crops, blocked roads and washed away bridges in northern India, killing at least 46 people, officials said on Wednesday, as they mounted rescue efforts for those stranded. 

Aerial images gave glimpses of engorged rivers and partially submerged villages in affected areas in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, which is especially prone to flooding, although other areas have also suffered in this week's downpours.

India Uttarakhand disaster response

Members of National Disaster Response Force evacuate stranded people following heavy rains at Chhara village in Nainital district, in the northern state of Uttarakhand, India, on 20th October. PICTURE: National Disaster Response Force/Handout via Reuters.

"There is huge loss due to the floods...the crops have been destroyed," Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami told Reuters partner ANI after surveying the damage late on Tuesday. 

"The locals are facing a lot of problems, the roads are waterlogged, bridges have been washed away."

The death toll could rise further, state disaster management official S A Murugesan told Reuters.

Footage from national disaster management officials showed people being led to safety after being trapped in landslides. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was anguished at the loss of life, he said on Twitter. 

In February, more than 200 were feared killed in Uttarakhand after flash floods swept away a hydroelectric dam. 

Other regions battered in the aftermath of rains include the southern state of Kerala, where more than 20 people died following landslides, authorities said on Monday.

On Wednesday, the death toll after three days of heavy rain in Nepal triggered landslides and flash floods rose to 77 after rescuers recovered 34 more bodies, authorities said.

Twenty-four deaths have been reported in the Panchthar district of east Nepal bordering India, 13 in neighbouring Ilam and 12 in Doti in west Nepal, interior ministry official Dil Kumar Tamang said. Others died elsewhere in west Nepal.

The ministry said 22 people were injured and 26 were missing. 

Authorities said the government would provide $US1,700 as relief to the families of each dead victim and free treatment for the injured.

About 350 kilometres west of the capital Kathmandu, persistent heavy rains were hampering efforts to reach Seti, a village in west Nepal where 60 people have been marooned by floods for two days.

“Rescuers were unable to reach the village due to bad weather and continuous rains yesterday. Rescue efforts are continuing today,” Police spokesman Basanta Kunwar told Reuters.

Television channels showed rice paddy crops submerged or washed away, and rivers sweeping away bridges, roads, houses and the runway of an airport in the city of Biratnagar.

Flash floods and landslides are common in Nepal during the monsoon season from mid-June through September.

Authorities have warned of more rain in the next few days.

There are “chances of heavy rainfall in some places and light to moderate snowfall” in the eastern mountainous areas, the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said in a forecast for the next two days.