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Rains, landslides kill dozens, affect millions in South Asia

By AP

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Nepalese people walk through flood waters in Gaur, Rautahat district, Nepal, yesterday. After causing flooding and landslides in Nepal, three rivers are overflowing in northeastern India and submerging parts of the region, affecting the lives of more than two million, officials said Monday.

(AP) — After causing flooding and landslides in Nepal, three rivers are overflowing in northern India and submerging parts of Bihar state, killing at least 14 people, officials said Monday. Farther east, 17 others were killed by flooding in Assam and other states in India’s remote northeast.

Pratata Amrit, a government official, said about 200,000 people left their flooded village homes in Bihar, with 50,000 taking shelter in 152 state-run relief camps.

More than two million were affected and 17 were killed by the flooding and mudslides in Assam and elsewhere in the far northeast in the past four days, officials said.

Nearly 80 per cent of Assam’s Kaziranga National Park, home to the endangered one-horn rhinoceros, has been flooded by the mighty Brahmaputra river, which flows along the sanctuary, forest officer Jutika Borah said.

Six deer trying to move to higher ground were killed by speeding vehicles on a highway crossing the park, Borah said. Forest guards have been posted on the highway to provide a corridor for the animals.

Officials in Nepal said flooding and landslides killed at least 67 people there. They said 30 others are missing, either swept away by swollen rivers or buried by mudslides since monsoon rains began pounding the region on Friday.

The National Emergency Operation Center said 14 highways across the nation were blocked by floods or mudslides and attempts were being made to clear the debris and open them for traffic.

In Bangladesh, at least a dozen people, mostly farmers, have been killed by lightning since Saturday as monsoon rains battered parts of the low-lying country.

Bangladesh, with 160 million people and more than 130 rivers, is prone to monsoon floods because of overflowing rivers and the heavy onrush of water from upstream India.

Monsoon rains hit the region in June-September. The rains are crucial for rain-fed crops planted during the season.

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