"The moment the government got the news ... police personnel were pressed in," the Reuters news agency quoted Pokhariyal as saying.

"They are carrying the rescue operation in full swing. We will take all the possible measures.

Brush with calamity 

"The state government has announced that surviving family members of the deceased will be given one lakh rupees ($2097 dollars)," Pokhariyal said.

"The surviving members of the families, who had a close brush with the calamity, will be shifted to safer places."

Pokhariyal said authorities are also working to warn residents ahead of another possible landslide, though he said the affected area was not in a known "landslide zone".

"We are marking and recording the places prone to landslides and which are situated in danger zones. Those living in such areas will be shifted to safer places."

Extensive deforestation has made many parts of northern India prone to landslides during heavy monsoon rains.