Death toll reaches 83 in Indian floods
The death toll from floods and heavy
monsoon rains across India's eastern and northern states on Friday climbed to
83 as thousands were left homeless in the stricken areas, news reports said.
According to officials of the India's National Disaster Management Division, nearly four million people have been affected by floods driven by monsoon rains in the eastern states of Orissa, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand this week, reported dpa.
Thousands of villages were submerged by rivers running in spate as people perched on the rooftops of their huts waiting to be evacuated by military teams.
Local agencies worked round the clock to provide relief to villagers in West Bengal where an estimated 2.2 million people were affected by floods.
State Chief Minister Buddadev Bhattacharya told reporters that 25 people had died in heavy rains since Tuesday, the PTI news agency reported.
The situation in the flood-hit West and East Midnapore districts remained grim as military helicopters made sorties to air-drop food packets, water pouches and medicines.
Twenty-three people had died in the Assam state, with the latest death being reported from Lakhimpur where a woman was buried under a landslide triggered by the rains.
Around 800,000 people were hit by the floods in Lakhimpur and the neighbouring district of Dhemaji which remained cut off after large parts of a highway were swept away by the Brahmaputra river.
In neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, a series of landslides left 19 people dead in and around the state capital of Itanagar on Saturday.
In Orissa, floods have hit about 500,000 people in four districts, submerged thousands of acres of land, snapped electric and communication links. Six people were swept away by the floods in the state.
India's northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkhand states have also been pummelled by torrential rains in the past few days. In Uttarakhand, 10 people including two Sikh pilgrims died when landslides hit stretches of a mountain highway.
The monsoon season in India lasts from June to September.
The seasonal rains in 2007 were the most devastating in recent memory, with more than 3,200 people killed across several Indian states.
More than 57 million people, most of them living in rural areas, were affected by the flooding.