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News ID: 12377
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 20:40 - 24 August 2017
TEHRAN, August 24 - Nearly 1,000 people have been killed or are missing after heavy monsoon rain and flooding in northern India, southern Nepal and northern Bangladesh.

Hundreds killed by annual monsoon floods in South AsiaTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Officials said on Thursday that some 40 million people had been affected, with the highest death toll in India followed by Nepal and Bangladesh.

The areas affected by monsoon stretched across the Himalayan foothills in the three countries, causing landslides, damaging roads and electric towers and washing away tens of thousands of homes and crops.

The northern Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam in the remote northeast are the worst hit, accounting for 680 deaths, most of them from drowning, snake bites or landslides.

Disaster management authorities in Bihar said the state's death toll of 367 could go up further as floodwaters recede and bodies are recovered from submerged houses.

Army soldiers and volunteers have evacuated around 770,000 people from inundated areas. Of these, some 425,000 were living in 1,360 relief camps set up in school and government buildings, said Avinash Kumar, a Bihar state official.

In neighboring Uttar Pradesh, the state government said around 2.3 million people in 25 districts have been affected by the floods when at least three major rivers overflowed their banks, entering fields and homes.

Army troops have been helping to evacuate people marooned on rooftops or trees, while air force helicopters dropped packets of food, drinking water and medicines to those camping on higher ground, mostly along highways.

Meanwhile, the state administration was bracing for the threat of infections as floodwaters receded. Health workers have begun sending supplies of mosquito repellent, bleaching powder and water purification tablets to the worst-hit areas, said health official Badri Vishal.

In the eastern state of West Bengal, the top elected official, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said 152 people had died and 15 million had been affected by floods in the past few weeks.

Another 71 people were killed in Assam as rivers breached their banks and entered low-lying villages.

Animal wildlife was affected by the monsoon as well. At the renowned Kaziranga National Park, officials said around 300 animals, including around two dozen rhinos and a Royal Bengal tiger, have been killed after floodwaters submerged nearly 80 percent of the wildlife park.

The death toll from the floods in Nepal stood at 146, with about 30 missing.

However, Nepal's Home Ministry spokesman Ram Krishna Subedi said floodwaters were receding and rivers were returning to normal.

'Devastating hunger' in Bangladesh

The death toll climbed to 132 in neighboring Bangladesh where some 7.5 million people have been affected in this year's floods, according to the Disaster Management Ministry.

Crops on more than 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) of land have been washed away while another 600,000 hectares (1,482,600 acres) have been damaged, posing a serious threat to food production, the ministry said on Thursday.

The UN World Food Program warned that Bangladesh was at risk of "devastating hunger" after major floods that destroyed crops, homes and livelihoods of people across many impoverished areas in a delta nation of 160 million people, Presstv reported.

"Many flood survivors have lost everything: their homes, their possessions, their crops," Christa Rader, WFP's Bangladesh country director, said in a statement. "People need food right now, and the full impact on longer-term food security threatens to be devastating."

Monsoon rains run from June to September each year causing flooding and destruction.


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