More than 500 people have died amid torrential monsoon rains in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, where thousands of people remain trapped, officials said Friday.

Recent reports say that 556 bodies have been spotted either floating in the waters or buried in the snow, and that the army is doing everything possible to retrieve them, the head of the Uttarakhand state government, Vijay Bahguna, told channel CNN-IBN.

Indian Interior Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said, hours before the head of the Uttarakhand government made his statement in the late afternoon, that the number of fatalities had risen to 207, according to official figures at the time.

"The list (of fatalities) could increase as the work of clearing away the rubble continues," the minister said.

The armed forces have joined emergency management personnel in helping those affected by the monsoon rains in the northern part of the country, where according to official figures some 8,100 troops and close to 50 helicopters have been deployed. EFE