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India Flood Death Toll Hits 2,600

September 13, 1998

LUCKNOW, India (AP) _ Floods that inundated large parts of northern and eastern India have killed at least 2,632 people, and officials said Sunday they feared the toll would go higher.

Although floods have begun to recede in the last few days, the number of deaths may continue to inch up as waterborne diseases claim new victims from the worst flooding to hit India in decades.

In the worst-hit Uttar Pradesh state, India’s most populous, 1,967 people have died since the major rivers in the state _ the Ganges and the Jamuna _ overflowed their banks and flooded the low-lying fertile plains.

Now, officials and relief volunteers are bracing to fight an outbreak of disease.

``People are drinking the same water they are bathing and washing clothes in. No insecticides have been sprayed on the stagnant waters,″ said state official Surendra Awasthi.

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