Thousands homeless, 660 dead due to heavy rains in Uttar Pradesh

August 21st, 2008 - 6:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 21 (IANS) Thousands have been rendered homeless and at least 660 people have died in the heavy monsoon rains in Uttar Pradesh this year, an official said here Thursday.”Incessant rains, which continue to wreak havoc over the entire state throughout the current monsoon season, have left 660 dead so far. Of these, 41 died in the past two days,” Balwinder Kumar, principal revenue secretary, told IANS.

Most of the deaths have occurred due to the collapsing of houses, largely in the poor rural expanse of the state.

“About 2,500 houses have been completely destroyed, while more than 33,000 have been partially damaged. However, only a few of these are in the cities,” Kumar said.

Heavy rains have also led to the swelling of most rivers, including the mighty Ganga, which is flowing above the danger mark at certain places. Other Himalayan rivers, including the Yamuna, Ghaghra, Rapti and Sarda are also in spate .

“Twenty-one of the state’s 70 districts have been affected by rain and floods, which have left 674 villages marooned,” Kumar said.

Rain and floods had also caused heavy damage to standing crop - the only source of livelihood for a large chunk of the population in the state.

“The government has established several relief camps while special teams have been deployed for evacuation of marooned people. Some monetary ex-gratia relief is also being provided to those whose houses have collapsed as well as to those who have suffered loss of crop or cattle,” Kumar said.

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