At least 130 people are reported to have died in flood-hit northern states of India.

More than a dozen helicopters have been deployed to rescue people in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims bound for local Himalayan shrines are stranded in Uttarakhand, the worst-hit state with over 100 people killed.

The floods have swept buildings away and triggered landslides in some places, blocking roads.

The monsoon season generally lasts from June to September, bringing rain which is critical to India’s farming output, but this year the rain in the north of the country has been heavier than usual, the BBC reported.

Flood-related deaths have also been reported in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh states.

A military statement quoted by the AFP news agency said five airbases had been activated to help speed up rescue operations.

Local officials told the BBC that the death toll was expected to rise further as rescue workers had still not reached many affected areas.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice to India says: “Travel in rural areas during the monsoon season can be hazardous.

“Monsoon rains cause flooding and landslides that can cut off some towns and villages for days. Check access routes before setting off and take extra care.”