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Ten people are killed and seven others are missing in flash floods in Bhutan and Nepal.

The Bhutanese peasants, who had been gathering cordyceps, a medicinal fungus, were resting when the floods arrived just after midnight.

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A helicopter belonging to the Nepalese army hovers above homes that have been damaged by flash floods.

Flash floods caused by heavy rains swept away a remote mountain camp in Bhutan on Wednesday, killing ten people and wounding five, while floods in neighboring Nepal left seven people missing, officials said.

The Bhutanese peasants, who had been gathering Cordyceps, a medicinal fungus, were resting when the floods arrived just after midnight. Their tent in Laya, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Thimphu, was swept away, according to local media.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Laya today as we learn of the tragedy that befell a group of cordyceps collectors in the highland" said Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering in a statement.

Two helicopters were sent to remove the wounded, and military rescuers were on their way to the location, which can only be accessed after 11 hours of trekking from the closest road.

Every year, villagers in Bhutan and neighboring Nepal go to high meadows to harvest cordyceps, which is said to offer possible medicinal benefits.

According to The Bhutanese newspaper, the people were camped on the side of a tiny creek between two tiny hills.

"They are thought to have been swept away by the water flowing down the creek," it added.

Dil Kumar Tamang, a Home Ministry official in Nepal, claimed seven people were missing after overnight rains in Sindhupalchowk district, which borders China's Tibet area, caused flash floods in the Melamchi river, inundating dozens of houses.

"We are gathering information on losses," Tamang told Reuters.

According to witnesses, many residents in Melamchi fled to higher ground with their possessions as army aircraft rescued others stuck in marooned homes.

Authorities warned residents near the Narayani Water, which flows into India as the Gandak, to be on the lookout since the river was running over the danger threshold.

Heavy rains have battered Nepal and Bhutan in the past three days as the yearly monsoon season starts.

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