India monsoon floods kill scores

DHARAMSALA Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:31pm IST

A man pushes his bicycle though a flooded street during monsoon rains in Mumbai June 16, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

A man pushes his bicycle though a flooded street during monsoon rains in Mumbai June 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

Related Topics

DHARAMSALA (Reuters) - Early monsoon rains have swollen the Ganges, India's longest river, swept away houses, killed at least 60 people and left tens of thousands stranded, officials said on Tuesday.

The rains are at least twice as heavy as usual in northwest and central India as the June-September monsoon spreads north, covering the whole country a month faster than normal.

The National Disaster Management Authority said a response force of 12 teams of 45 people each had been in action since Sunday, in addition to the army and border police.

In Uttarakhand, where officials say at least 60 people had been killed, air force helicopters airdropped commandos to help rescue some of the tens of thousands of people unable to move because of the floods.

"We are on a war footing, we are working day and night," said R. Rajesh Kumar, a district official in Uttarkashi, where two national highways have been blocked.

The district has set up 32 camps to provide food and water for about 5,000 pilgrims and tourists caught by the floods while visiting local holy sites. The Ganges is sacred to Hindus.

Rains, which were 48 percent above normal across India up until June 16, are expected to ease up in the next week, according to weather department officials.

In Orissa, flash floods destroyed at least 678 houses and damaged crops in storage, the state's deputy relief commissioner, P.R. Mohapatra, said.

So far, the rains have not hit the summer sowing season in India, as planting of rice, sugar, cotton and other agricultural produce is not yet in full swing.

India is one of the world's biggest producers and consumers of grains and about 55 percent of its farmland relies on the monsoon for water.

Heavy rain early in the June-September season makes planting easier, but if flooding persists, stagnant water can delay sowing or damage early rice shoots. (Additional reporting by Sruthi Gottipati and Ratnajyoti Dutta in NEW DELHI, Jatindra Dash in BHUBANESHWAR, and Sharat Pradhan in LUCKNOW; Editing by Jo Winterbottom and Nick Macfie)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
reidh wrote:
Why do they live so close to flood plain of Ganges? Do they have to?

Jun 18, 2013 5:12pm IST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS EXCLUSIVE

REUTERS SHOWCASE

iOS 8 Issue

iOS 8 Issue

iOS 8 causing Bluetooth connectivity issues - Apple news blog  Full Article 

Modi In U.S.

Modi In U.S.

Obama, Modi work to deepen improving U.S.-India ties  Full Article | Full Coverage 

NYT Job Cut

NYT Job Cut

New York Times to cut jobs as new products disappoint  Full Article 

Factory Activity

Factory Activity

Factories expand at slowest pace this year in September  Full Article 

Monetary Policy

Monetary Policy

RBI not biased towards either raising or cutting rates - Rajan  Full Article 

Weak Demand

Weak Demand

Weak demand hits factory activity across Asia, Europe  Full Article 

Pimco Fund

Pimco Fund

Pimco Total Return Fund posts record $23.5 bln net outflow in Sept  Full Article 

Hopeful of Profit

Hopeful of Profit

GM sees first European profit in 2016 after years of losses  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage