*Perilous Times and Global Warming
Death toll mounts as floods rage in India*
NEW DELHI, Aug 5 (AFP) Aug 05, 2007
The death toll from raging floods in India neared 1,100 Sunday as more
people drowned in swollen rivers that have stranded millions in their
homes, officials said.
Four people died overnight in Uttar Pradesh, taking the death toll to
123 in the northern state where 2,400 villages have been cut off by the
floods, a government spokesman said.
"Almost all rivers are flowing above the danger mark but what worries us
is the discharge of a large amount of water from nearby Nepal," relief
department spokesman Shreesh Dubey said in the state capital Lucknow.
The death toll in the worst-hit state of Bihar rose to 87 as seven more
people drowned Saturday in the stricken region, local disaster
management chief Manoj Srivastava said by telephone from the capital Patna.
The latest figures took to at least 1,039 the number of people killed
nationwide in the annual monsoon rains.
Deaths were also reported in the states of West Bengal and Assam, which
Bihar reeled under the havoc of the floods as rivers burst their banks
Sunday and inundated scores more villages.
About 10.8 million people are marooned in their homes in Bihar.
The air force said it was stepping up relief operations across the
populous state, where floods have destroyed nearly 70,000 houses and
washed away crops worth tens millions of dollars.
A flood control room official said dozens of rivers continued to rise in
State chief minister Nitish Kumar said he was deploying his senior
cabinet colleagues in the flood-hit districts to speed up rescue and
"They will camp in areas assigned to them to supervise relief operations
until the situation normalises," Kumar said.
Meanwhile in the northeastern state of Assam thousands of people were
returning to their homes in 26 of the state's 27 districts which were
hit by the floods, said chief minister Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati, the
region's largest city.