Fri, Aug 10, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Number of deaths from S Asian floods surges past 2,000

AFP , NEW DELHI

The number of deaths triggered by monsoon flooding in India, Bangladesh and Nepal since June crossed 2,000 yesterday even as the torrents receded, officials said.

India's home ministry disaster management division reported more than 1,500 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon.

In India's worst-hit state Bihar where 1.1 million hectares of farmland has been inundated, "the situation is gradually improving," he said.

In Bangladesh, the number rose to 346 after at least 18 more deaths were reported, said Shafiqul Islam, a spokesman for the Food and Disaster Management Ministry.

Kathmandu has reported 95 dead since the monsoon started in June and 330,000 people were displaced.

In Bihar's capital Patna, officials said yesterday that 28 more people had died, while neighboring Uttar Pradesh reported four more deaths overnight.

But the Indian figures do not include scores of people still missing from numerous boating accidents, including one in Samastipur District which police said killed 65 people on Monday.

The ministry said 6,496 villages were under water in Bihar affecting a population of 13.8 million, although it has not rained for several days now.

In Uttar Pradesh 2,412 villages remain submerged. Some 233 relief camps have been set up and taken in 167,000 people.

Huge swathes of Uttar Pradesh and Assam states have been submerged as well as eastern Bihar.

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