Monsoon chaos kills dozens in India and Nepal, more than 1.5 million affected

NEW DELHI (DPA, AFP) – At least 35 people have been killed and more than 1.5 million affected by flooding triggered by monsoon rains in northern and eastern India, officials and news reports said on Sunday (July 14).

At least 19 people have been killed in incidents of house collapses and electrocution during rains in Uttar Pradesh state since July 10, an official at the state disaster management control room said.

Uttar Pradesh shares a border with Nepal, which has also seen many deaths due to torrential rains.

In the north-eastern state of Assam, seven people were killed in the same period, as incessant rains flooded 25 of the state’s 33 districts.

Over 1.5 million people have been affected, including being displaced, stranded in their homes and suffering damage to their crops, lands and livelihood, state officials said.

Over 20,000 people have been shifted to 234 government-run relief camps and centres, they said.

Nine more rain-related deaths have been reported in the north-eastern region – five in Meghalaya, and two in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram states, respectively – in the last four days, local media reported.

The weather office has forecast more rainfall in the regions over the next few days, prompting the federal home ministry to direct officials to ensure proper rescue and relief mechanisms are in place to help flood victims.

Monsoon rains from June to September cause widespread death and destruction across South Asia each year.

India’s monsoon season between June and September often sees heavy rains that are vital for agriculture but can cause immense destruction.

Over in Nepal, floods and landslides caused by the torrential monsoon rains have killed at least 50 people across the country, officials said.

Heavy rains since Thursday have hit several districts in Nepal, especially in the country’s eastern region and the southern plains, affecting thousands.

Nepal police spokesman Bishwaraj Pokharel said 33 people are missing while over 1,100 people have been rescued. “We have mobilised all resources in the country for search, rescue and relief and have been able to reach all affected areas,” Pokharel told AFP.

Authorities said river levels are expected to return to normal from Monday.

In Bangladesh, aid groups were providing rations to Rohingya refugees in the south-east of the country with the UN World Food Programme saying Friday that two people including a child had died.

Last year, more than 1,200 people were been killed across South Asia in monsoon storms, with India’s Kerala suffering its worst floods in nearly 100 years.

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