Millions Left Homeless by Asia's Monsoon Floods ; Death Toll Could Hit Thousands as Abnormal Rain Swamps Bangladesh, Nepal and Northern India, Bringing Threat of Mass Starvation and Waterborne Disease
Lakhani, Nina, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
Women and children were seen screaming for help from treetops yesterday as monsoon floods struck three countries in south Asia, leaving at least 280 people dead and 20 million washed out of their homes.
Abnormal weather in northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal has caused river levels to rise by 30ft in some areas, flooding surrounding areas so fast that many people were unable to save even the most basic possessions. Confirmed deaths have reached 54 in Bangladesh, 84 in Nepal and 148 in India, but it is feared the toll could climb to thousands as the threat of starvation and waterborne diseases increases.
The floods are already the worst to hit the region in 30 years, and more heavy rain is forecast this week. Thousands of villages and rice paddies are submerged at the peak of the rice-planting season, and it is feared that crops could be permanently damaged, leaving millions destitute. Food supplies are already running low.
Helicopters dropped food to nearly two million villagers yesterday in the badly hit state of Uttar Pradesh. Assam and Bihar are the other worst-affected states in India, where it has been raining heavily for three weeks. There were reports of clashes between police and flood victims in several relief camps in Assam, where aid efforts have been severely hampered by the collapse of more than 60 bridges.
The police, the military and hundreds of volunteers have been mobilised by all three governments to help evacuate people …
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Publication information: Article title: Millions Left Homeless by Asia's Monsoon Floods ; Death Toll Could Hit Thousands as Abnormal Rain Swamps Bangladesh, Nepal and Northern India, Bringing Threat of Mass Starvation and Waterborne Disease. Contributors: Lakhani, Nina - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: August 5, 2007. Page number: Not available. © 2009 The Independent on Sunday. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.