GAUCHAR, India (AP) — Authorities are preparing to cremate the bodies of hundreds of people who perished in monsoon flooding in northern India, as soldiers attempt to rescue tourists and pilgrims who remain stranded in a remote town.

Truckloads of wooden logs were loaded onto air force transport planes Tuesday and flown to the temple town of Kedarnath to be used in a mass funeral and cremation for the flood victims.

Health experts say there are dangers of disease outbreaks unless the bodies are cremated. Medical teams are taking DNA samples and photographs of the unidentified bodies before they are cremated.

Troops are also trying to rescue about 5,000 people who remain stranded in Badrinath town eight days after torrential rains triggered landslides and flooding in Uttarakhand state.

Damaged houses are seen by River Ganges in Guptkashi, India, Sunday, June 23, 2013 photo. The unprecedented heavy rains triggered landslides and floods in the Ganges River last week, washing away thousands of houses and roads and cutting communication links in large areas of Uttarakhand. Soldiers recovered more bodies as they cleared debris in villages bringing the death toll above 1,000, the home minister said Monday. (AP Photo)

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