Rains, landslides kill dozens, affect millions in South Asia

PATNA, India (AP) — After causing flooding and landslides in Nepal, three rivers are overflowing in northeastern India and submerging parts of the region, killing at least 14 people and affecting the lives of over two million, officials said yesterday.

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

In remote northeastern India, 17 others were killed by flooding and mudslides and over two million were affected by flooding in Assam and other states 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.

Flood affected villagers with their belongings take shelter on a highland in Katahguri village along river Brahmaputra, east of Gauhati, India. – AP

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 last Friday.

The National Emergency Operation Centre 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 last Saturday as monsoon rains battered parts of the low-lying country.

Bangladesh, with 160 million people and over 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.