40 killed in S Asia monsoon rains
KATHMANDU, July 13: Floods and landslides triggered by torrential monsoon rains have killed at least 40 people across South Asia in the last two days, officials said on Saturday.
The monsoon, which lasts from June to September, causes widespread death and destruction across South Asia each year.
In Nepal, 27 people have died in floods and landslides after heavy rains hit the country's eastern region and the southern plains.
Bishwaraj Pokharel, spokesperson for Nepal Police, added that another 11 people were injured and 15 others reported missing.
Three of the victims were killed when a wall collapsed in the capital Kathmandu.
"Our first priority is life saving rescue and all our resources have been deployed," Home Ministry official Umakanta Adhikari told AFP.
Police used boats to bring people to safety as rivers swelled, inundating their settlements, while parents were seen wading across chest-high waters carrying children on their shoulders.
Nepal's weather department issued a high alert for the southern Sapta Koshi river on Saturday and sent SMS warnings to people in the area.
In neighbouring India 11 deaths have been recorded in the northeastern states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, officials said on Friday.
Monsoon floods have inundated 21 districts in Assam, affecting thousands, officials said Friday.
In Bangladesh aid groups were providing rations to Rohingya refugees in the southeast 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.
Aid groups have distributed rations to Rohingya refugees in southeastern Bangladesh. On Friday, the UN World Food Programme reported that two people, including a child, had died there.
In India, disaster teams worked to rescue residents from 1,556 inundated villages across 21 of the 33 districts in the northeastern state of Assam, while agencies provided food and medical supplies to flood victims. The waters in Assam's Brahmaputra River and its tributaries have continued to rise, inundating new areas in recent days.
"The flood situation is serious," an official at the state disaster management control room told news agencies on Saturday. "A total of 869,024 people have been affected, including being displaced, stranded in their homes, or having suffered damages to their crops, land and livelihood." The official added: "While five people died washed away by floods, one was killed in a landslide. All the deaths were reported since Wednesday." -AFP