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87 dead in north India floods

An Indian village women uses a ladder to climb from the roof of one house onto that of another at the flood affected village of Gidarpindi, some 60 Kms from Jalandhar on August 18, 2008. The village was flooded after the nearby River Sutlej breached its banks. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Lucknow, India (AFP) Aug 18, 2008
At least 87 people have died in northern India following heavy monsoon rains and flooding, officials said Monday.

The bulk of the casualties were reported from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, with 73 people killed in the past 48 hours, state revenue secretary Balwainder Kumar told AFP.

Most of the deaths happened when houses of the victims collapsed during the downpours, Kumar said.

The other 14 deaths occurred in the northern state of Punjab, where a major river overflowed, officials said.

According to the weather office, more rains were forecast for the next 24 hours, with all the major rivers flowing over the danger mark.

"The rainfall this season is 25 percent above normal. There will be a gradual weakening of the rainfall after a few days," weather office official L. C. Ram said in Uttar Pradesh state capital Lucknow.

Further north in Punjab, at least 125 villages were underwater, with thousands of people left homeless and several thousand hectares (acres) of rice crop destroyed, state Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Shekon said.

Some of the dead were washed away after the Sutlej river broke its banks, while others were electrocuted.

Shekon said aid has yet to reach hundreds of people stranded on rooftops, and the army was assisting relief operations and evacuations.

Monsoon rains have disrupted rail and road travel, and some highways were under several feet of water, a transport ministry official said.


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Death toll rises from Vietnam floods
Hanoi (AFP) Aug 15, 2008
The death toll from tropical storm Kammuri and subsequent floods has risen to at least 127 in northern Vietnam, with 34 others still listed as missing, an official said Friday.

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