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Deaths from heavy monsoon rise to nearly 140 in eastern India

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Commuters make their way on a waterlogged road following heavy rainfalls in Patna on September 30, 2019. – At least 100 people have died in northern India over the last three days in unusually heavy late monsoon rains which have submerged streets, hospital wards and houses, officials said on September 30. Dozens of boats were pressed into service on streets overflowing with gushing rainwater in Patna, the capital of the eastern state of Bihar, after torrential downpours far stronger the normal. (Photo by Sachin KUMAR / AFP)

The death toll in eastern India from torrential late monsoon rains has risen to nearly 140, officials said Tuesday as hospitals and schools were inundated with dirty rainwater.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said the current monsoon has been the heaviest since 1994, classifying it “above normal”, and this year’s season has been longer than usual.

Over the past four days, 111 people have died in Uttar Pradesh state and another 28 lost their lives in neighbouring Bihar, government officials told AFP.

Some 900 inmates had to be shifted from a Ballia district prison in Uttar Pradesh to “ensure their safety and health” after rainwater flooded the premises.

Residents of Patna — the capital of Bihar, home to two million people — used lifeboats to escape heavily water-logged homes.

Although the rains have stopped, large swathes of the city remained submerged, with schools and shops shut.

Images showed rainwater swamping hospital wards and residential areas where disaster management officials delivered milk, bananas and drinking water pouches on inflatable boats.

The annual monsoon season usually lasts from June to September but late heavy rains have continued to lash several parts of the country this year, wreaking havoc.

“In spite of late monsoon onset and largely deficient rainfall during the month of June, the seasonal rainfall ended in an above-normal category,” the IMD said on Monday.


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