It has taken some time for the news to come out of India, but there has been a major landslide disaster that has claimed an estimated 6,000 lives. In the remote, mountainous north of the country, steep slopes have given way and launched flows of rock and water that have destroyed or seriously damaged some 240 villages and small towns.
A very good place to get the details of the events, as well as analysis of the causes over the last few weeks, is via The Landslide Blog, by landslide expert Dave Petley of Durham University in the United Kingdom (full disclosure: I am the AGU blogosphere manager, where Petley's blog appears).
Among the dead are pilgrims, tourists and residents of a number of villages, including the temple town of Kedarnath. The cause of the disaster is the exceptionally heavy monsoon rains that have hit the region. Videos of the actual flooding can be seen here.
One Indian government official put the estimated death toll at 5,748 people. The Indian military has been hard at work in rescue operations, although in many cases there was little people could do but run for higher ground, as Petley illustrates in an account from the town of Rambara, which was below Kedarnath: