A man wades through a flooded street during a heavy monsoon rain shower in Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey
Floods triggered by heavy rains in the Himalayas have
inundated nearly 1500 villages in northern India, killing at
least 28 people and leaving thousands homeless, officials
Thousands were marooned in villages across nine districts of
Uttar Pradesh state, where the release of water from
overflowing dams in neighbouring Nepal has added to the
impact of the downpours.
A lack of rain earlier in the June-September monsoon season
had led to fears of drought, but this month all that has
The latest heavy rains have caused landslides and floods in
many parts of India and Nepal, where at least 90 people have
been killed since Thursday.
At least 12 people were swept away by torrents in Bahraich
district of Uttar Pradesh, officials said. Another six
perished when their boat capsized in the swollen Rapti river.
"The flood situation arose following heavy downpours in
Nepal, which led to overflowing rivers which originate in the
Himalayan region including Tibet and Nepal," said Alok
Ranjan, chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh.
More rain is forecast in Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring
Uttarakhand in the Himalayas, resulting in new flood
Three army helicopters were deployed to drop food and water
to the people marooned in shelters.
"The state is well equipped with both manpower and resources
to meet the current crises and we will leave no stone
unturned to ensure that the affected people receive prompt
relief," Ranjan said.
FEARS FOR SUGARCANE CROP
Earlier there had been concern the slow start to the monsoon
would trim cane output in the world's second-biggest
Now the floods in Uttar Pradesh have raised fears of damage
to the cane crop, as 0.6 million hectares of arable lands
have been submerged.
"Sugarcane is at high risk due to floods as waterlogging can
damage the crop," Sudhir Panwar, president of the farmers'
body Kisan Jagriti Manch said by phone from Lucknow, capital
of Uttar Pradesh.
According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association, sugar output
could rise 4 percent to 25.3 million tonnes in 2014/15,
because of higher cane yields in the other major producing
states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.