Rescue efforts

In Uttar Pradesh, incessant rains and strong winds brought down houses which killed many victims, Kumar said.

Further north, rains felled trees and severed power lines in Himachal Pradesh, blocking roads and bridges, Prem Kumar Dhumal, the chief minister, said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) dropped food, medicine and supplies to 45 people including 25 foreigners stranded in the high altitude Lahaul valley region, Dhumal said.

Sudha Devi, a senior Himachal administration official, said at least 150 tourists had been evacuated from the Rohtang Pass on Sunday.

In Orissa, at least 266,000 people were evacuated after heavy rains and overflowing dams inundated large parts of the state, according to reports.

"Some 1,849 villages in coastal Orissa are under water, according to initial reports," an official said.