North Indian monsoon deaths reach 824, dam-burst alert sparks panic
Six people drowned in the Bihar district of Vaishali while three others died of snake bites in their flooded villages of Begusarai district, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency said of the incidents since Sunday.
Bihar has seen 179 deaths from floods since the onset of the monsoon in early June, with rivers finally receding after running over their banks for more than two months.
Adjoining Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, has seen an alarming jump in flood fatalities from 230 barely a week ago to 645, PTI said quoting rescue officials.
Floods in Uttar Pradesh have hit 9.5 million people, submerged 1,718 villages and damaged crops across 1.1 million hectares (2.71 million acres) of farmland, officials said in state capital Lucknow.
Rivers including the Ganges were flowing above their danger marks in the crowded Uttar Pradesh towns of Ayodhya, Ballia and Rae Bareli, they said, adding that 1,255 camps had been put up for some of the homeless people.
In impoverished Bihar, around 5.5 million people of 3,977 villages have been hit by the floods, according to estimates issued by the state administration on September 17.
Crops across 375,000 hectares (926,641 acres) have been destroyed, it said.
India is witnessing one of the wettest monsoons in 25 years and although the bountiful rains are expected to boost the economy, it has hit hard flood-prone regions.
The northeastern state of Assam reported some 170 deaths in the monsoon season, with rivers receding there by early August.
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Received by NewsEdge Insight: 09/23/2003 10:20:58
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