23 August 2016 (Reuters) – At least 300 people have died in eastern and central India and more than 6 million others have been affected by floods that have submerged villages, washed away crops, destroyed roads, and disrupted power and phone lines, officials said Tuesday.
Heavy monsoon rains have caused rivers, including the mighty Ganges and its tributaries, to burst their banks, forcing people into relief camps in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand.
Government officials in Bihar, which has seen some of the worst flooding this year, with almost 120 dead and more than 5 million affected, said the situation was serious.
"The flood waters have engulfed low-lying areas, homes and fields of crops," said Zafar Rakib, a district magistrate of Katihar, which is among 24 out of Bihar's 38 districts that have been hit by the deluge.
"We have shifted people to higher ground, and they are being provided with cooked rice, clean drinking water, polythene sheets," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
In neighboring Uttar Pradesh, where 43 people have died and more than 1 million others are affected, schools were closed in the cities of Varanasi and Allahabad as both the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers crossed danger levels and flood waters continued to rise. [more]