Assam Floods: More than 1 million people displaced, death toll rises

Monsoon rains have wreaked havoc across South Asia

Sonowal apprised him of the steps taken by the state government to help the affected people across the state's 30 districts and was assured of all help to deal with the situation, according to a statement from the Chief Minister's Office.

Floods have devastated much of the northeastern Indian state of Assam where four people died on Sunday after being swept away by sudden torrents.

Indian cities also face deadly monsoon floods nearly every year. The television channels broadcast images of railways and roads submerged in Bihar, and the population trying to wade through the mud, with the water that reaches their chest and the few possesions snatched from their home carried on their head.

The Health Emergency Operation Centre said that different medical teams with doctors were mobilized in the hard-hit districts to ensure health services to the affected people. Over 13,000 families were displaced in Province 2 alone where around 3,500 houses were completely damaged.

The death toll was the highest in Nepal, where torrential rains unleashed mudslides and caused rivers to overflow, killing at least 67 people, officials said yesterday.

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Army and paramilitary personnel have been deployed across the state for rescue and relief operations and makeshift shelter camps have been set up, while the airforce is on standby, Keshab Mahanta, Assam's water resources minister, told Reuters.

The rain was easing on over parts of Nepal, Bangladesh and India's Bihar state, where thousands have sough shelter in relief camps, officials said.

But the downpours - which stretch from June to September - can turn deadly, and have wreaked havoc again this year across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, with people, dwellings and boats in remote low-lying areas washed away. People living on the banks of rivers are advised to be on alert.

Already, 16,520 households in Nepal have been displaced, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Xavier Castellanos, Regional Director for Asia Pacific, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said: "We are seeing growing numbers of displaced and increasing loss of life with each day of rain". The rain is still pouring, with some western areas expected to receive up to 250 millimeters (9.84 inches) in the next 48 hours, said the Nepal Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. The governments and authorities have to be well prepared with policies in place to lighten the impact.

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