Heavy monsoon rains have created flash floods and landslides, killing nearly 300 people in northern India and Pakistan, authorities said Sunday.
In Indian-controlled Kashmir, the five days of unrelenting rain that created massive landslides and submerged hundreds of villages have killed at least 120 people, according to officials. More than 160 have died in neighboring Pakistan.
Tens of thousands more have lost their homes and are stranded, creating a humanitarian concern for the resource-strapped countries.
Rescuers were deployed by boat and helicopter to evacuate people who were stranded, but in some instances the current of the flood was too strong even after the rain had stopped.
"The situation is extremely grim," top civilian official in India, Rohit Kansal, told the Associated Press. "We are not able to reach many people because the water is moving so fast."
Nearly 300 villages in Punjab had been affected, with many rivers rising well above their banks.
"Army helicopters and navy boats are rescuing people and taking them to safety from submerged villages in Punjab and affected areas of Kashmir," said Ahmed Kamal, spokesman for Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority.
Forecasts warn of more rain to hit the region in the upcoming days. Landslides and floods are common in both India and Pakistan during the monsoon season, which runs through September. In 2010, flash floods killed 1,700 people in Pakistan.
Monsoon season, which runs through September, frequently results in landslides and severe flooding. In 2010, 1,700 people people died in flash floods in Pakistan.