Sunday, August 19, 2007

South Asia flood death toll tops 2,700

Terra Daily, via Agence France-Presse: The death toll from floods triggered by heavy rains and snow melt in South Asia topped 2,700 Sunday as some rivers in India continued to overflow and delay aid efforts, officials said. In the eastern Indian state of Bihar -- one of the worst hit -- the Ganges and other rivers surged above the danger mark, a government statement said, adding that efforts to bring food and drinking water aid had been affected.

More than 1,900 people have died nationwide in India from the annual monsoon rain floods since June and millions have been displaced, the statement said.

In neighbouring Bangladesh, where millions have also been hit by flooded fields, towns and cities, authorities put the toll at 680. Another 117 people have died in Nepal where aid officials say 350,000 people were displaced in the southern low-land areas of the nation, according to the country's home ministry.

Heavy monsoon rains and snow melt peaked in late July and early August in South Asia, with losses estimated at nearly one billion dollars and major outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea widely reported.

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