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At least 44 killed in north India floods

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Onlookers and commuters stand next to a flooded water channel flowing over a bridge after heavy rains at New Chandigarh in Mohali district in the northern Indian state of Punjab. STR / AFP

At least 44 people were killed and thousands moved to relief camps because of flooding caused by torrential rains in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state, officials told AFP Saturday.

Densely populated regions on the banks of two main rivers in the state, which are overflowing because of incessant rainfall in the last 24-48 hours, are among the worst hit.

“We had confirmed 44 deaths till late yesterday night. The authorities are focusing on rescue and relief work in the affected regions,” Ravindra Pratap Sahi, vice chairman of the state disaster management authority, told AFP.

“We have moved thousands to relief shelters as there is forecast of heavy rains in the next 48 hours in most of the affected districts of the state,” Sahi said.

Officials and local media reports said most people lost their lives for a variety of reasons including wall collapses, drowning, lightning and snake bites.

Flash floods after heavy rains killed at least 17 people in western India’s Maharashtra state earlier this week.

Monsoon rains are crucial to replenishing water supplies in drought-stricken India, but they kill hundreds of people across the country every year.


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