Flooding hits 3 Indian states, 35 dead

Sept. 23, 2012 at 11:08 PM
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GUWAHATI, India, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Massive flooding unleashed by recent heavy rains spread across three northeastern Indian states Monday, pushing the death toll to at least 35, officials said.

Other reports gave a higher death toll from the deadly rains Since Sept. 15.

Most of the victims in the devastation in the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim died in landslides, including personnel of the India-Tibet border police and border roads organization and their family members, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The news agency quoted official sources that at least 21 bodies, including those of border police and road-building personnel, were recovered from near Gangtok, capital of the Himalayan state of Sikkim, following flash flooding and landslides. Another eight people were reported missing.

The Indian army and air force were searching for the missing people and spearheading rescue and relief operations in the affected areas in the Rangma range.

In Assam state, at least five people were reported dead in flooding that affected at least 16 districts, PTI reported.

The Indo-Asian News Service placed the death toll in Assam at seven, saying the flooding had affected more than 800,000 people in about 700 villages in 15 of the 27 districts in Assam.

The flood-hit regions in Assam included the Kaziranga National Parks, home to the famed one-horned rhinoceros, and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.

PTI said flood waters from the raging Brahmaputra River also had entered Assam's capital Guwahati.

At least three people were killed in landslides in Arunachal Pradesh state where the Indian military was assisting in rescue and relief operations as surface communication to three districts remained cut off.

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