India: Flood toll in northern and eastern states crosses 453

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New Delhi (dpa) - The death toll due to continuing monsoon rains and flooding in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and the eastern states of Bihar and Orissa has reached 453, a report said Friday.

The toll in Uttar Pradesh stood at 230 with reports of 22 more deaths Wednesday, the United News of India reported. Some 164 people were killed in Bihar and 59 in Orissa.

Twenty districts of Uttar Pradesh have been declared flood affected. Some 2.5 million people in 4,583 villages of the state are reeling under monsoon fury and over 700,000 hectares of agricultural land is under water, the United News of India reported.

Thousands of houses have collapsed due to heavy rains. Many rivers, including the state's lifeline, the Ganges, were swollen by heavy rains. Several camps have been opened and more than 3,600 boats are working to rescue marooned victims.

In Bihar, nearly five-and-half-million people in 23 districts have been hit by floods, according to relief officials. Some 18,000 houses have been damaged and standing crops over 375,000 hectares of land have been damaged by the rains and floods.

Army helicopters dropped essential supplies to marooned people as rivers maintained a rising trend inundating new areas.

Official sources in Orissa's capital Bhubaneswar said 3.5 million people in 23 districts were reeling under floods which have damaged 450,000 hectares of crops. dpa mvb blg

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