46 killed as monsoon rains lash India's northern states

At least 46 people were killed as heavy rains lashed India's northern states and triggered landslides, even as villagers in another flood-affected state clashed with authorities for relief items, officials and news reports said Tuesday.

46 killed as monsoon rains lash India's northern states
At least 46 people were killed as heavy rains lashed India's northern states and triggered landslides, even as villagers in another flood-affected state clashed with authorities for relief items, officials and news reports said Tuesday.

While 31 people were killed in Himachal Pradesh, 15 deaths were reported from the Uttarakhand state in landslides and incidents of house-collapses since Sunday.

Ten people, including four migrant workers were killed in and around state capital Shimla in two separate landslides on Monday, the Indian Express daily reported.

Ten other people died in landslides and house-collapses in four other districts adding to the 11 rain-related fatalities reported a day earlier, the report said.

Hundreds of vehicles including tourist buses, were stranded on the key highways due to landslides in the state. Train services on the state's main railway line were also disrupted after a cloudburst washed away 100 metres of track.

Rains continued to pummel the neighbouring state of Uttarakhand resulting in 15 deaths during landslides, the NDTV network reported. Hindu pilgrimages in the state were also suspended as several highways were blocked because of the landslides.

Meanwhile, 17 people including five policemen were injured in the flood-hit eastern state of Bihar on Monday when angry relief seekers ransacked an office of the local administration and clashed with the police.

The PTI news agency reported that hundreds of villagers shouting slogans against authorities for "discriminating" against them in the distribution of relief materials ransacked the office in western Champaran district and pelted stones at the police.

Although the flood situation in Bihar has improved with major rivers receding, the state government is being criticized for poor handling of relief and rehabilitation measures.

According to the National Disaster Management unit of the Home Ministry the countrywide death toll since the onset of monsoon season in June has now mounted to 1,768.

The five states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and West Bengal accounted for nearly 1,200 rain-related fatalities, officials said.

More than 35 million people had been affected by the floods so far across the country and an estimated 1.7 million people had been evacuated from their homes and were being housed in temporary shelters.

The Indian Meterological Department has said the situation remains grim as more thundershowers and rains are expected in the northern and eastern regions till Thursday.

Officials say the floods have been more devastating this year than in 2006, when about 1,000 people died during the rainy season that lasts through September.

DPA
Last Mod: 15 Ağustos 2007, 00:44
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