Heavy rains leave 73 dead in Uttar Pradesh

August 18th, 2008 - 2:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 18 (IANS) Torrential rains across large parts of Uttar Pradesh in the last couple of days have claimed at least 73 lives and flooded hundreds of villages, officials said Monday. This takes the overall toll on account of heavy rains and floods during the current monsoon to 580.

According to an official spokesman, most of the deaths occurred due to house collapses.

“The victims were all very poor people, living either in ‘kutcha’ houses or old and dilapidated buildings that gave way to incessant rains over the past few days”, state’s principal secretary (revenue) Balwinder Kumar told IANS.

“So far we have received reports about the partial or full collapse of as many as 890 houses,” Kumar said.

Several major rivers in the state were in spate and had washed away or marooned hundreds of villages, besides causing tremendous loss to human life and property. Thousands of cattle - the source of livelihood to many rural families - have also perished in the rains.

The districts that have borne the brunt of the downpour in the last couple of days include Unnao, Hardoi, Lucknow, Etawah, Etah, Fatehpur, Sultanpur and Sitapur.

With weather officials predicting more rains in the coming days, officials fear higher casualties.

“The already flooded rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Ghaghra, Rapti, Gandak and Sharda are threatening to rise further and even cross the danger mark at several places; therefore we have advised concerned officials in all affected districts to maintain a strict vigil. A round-the-clock flood control room is also in place at the state headquarters to keep a constant a watch on the situation,” said Kumar.

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