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Indian Flooding Causes 34 More Deaths

September 15, 2003

LUCKNOW, India (AP) _ Rain-swollen rivers began receding in India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh on Monday but the death toll there from monsoon rains rose to 190 after 34 more people were reported killed.

The new deaths, which occurred since Sunday, raised the number of people killed across India to at least 818 since the monsoon season began in June.

``The flood situation is grim and we have sought the central government’s help for relief and rescue operations,″ said Akhand Pratap Singh, the state’s top bureaucrat.

Singh said more than 20,000 houses had been destroyed, with at least 500 people injured by collapsing homes.

Tens of thousands of others have fled their homes, taking their cattle, meager rations and some clothes.

The new deaths included at least 11 people who were killed when a house came crashing down in Hardoi, 50 miles northwest of Lucknow, in a heavy downpour Sunday.

This year’s unusually heavy monsoon rains have also battered India’s neighbors. Monsoon-related deaths rose to more than 1,450 across South Asia, including 236 in Pakistan, 216 in Nepal and 181 in Bangladesh.

The monsoon season ends later this month.

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