Monday, September 1, 2008

You thought our rain was bad?

Spare a thought for the poor people of South Asia, where hundreds of thousands of people are marooned in remote villages by flooding caused by the monsoon rains.

Floods have killed more than 1000 people in South Asia since the monsoon began in June, mainly in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where 785 people died, and deaths were also reported in Nepal and Bangladesh. At least 3 million people have been displaced and those figures could rise as heavy rain continued, officials said.

The latest flooding occurred after the Kosi river burst a dam in neighbouring Nepal earlier this month and changed its course, swamp hundreds of villages in Bihar and destroy over 100,000 hectares of farmlands. More than 350,000 people have been evacuated over the past 11 days, officials said, admitting they did not have enough boats or resources to step up relief operations. Cases of diarrhoea were beginning to be reported from many relief camps in the state, Unicef said.

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