South Asia flood death toll rises

August 8, 2007

DHAKA (BBC) -- More than 360 people are now thought to have died in the flooding in India and Bangladesh caused by monsoon rains.

Some 14 million people have been displaced in India alone and clashes have been reported over food drops in the worst hit Bihar state.
Aid workers are battling to supply food and water to millions of increasingly desperate flood victims.
However, life in flood-affected southern Nepal is returning to normal after weeks of torrential rains.
Water levels in some north Indian rivers are now receding but food, water and medicine is still not reaching those who need it most.
Clashes were reported over food drops in the worst hit area, India's state of Bihar, where 11 million are affected.
Federal ministers are expected to visit the worst-affected areas to try and assess the damage on Tuesday.
Aid agencies have warned of the outbreak of diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases.
Bihar officials have blamed Nepal over the water levels
Bihar's latest victims were in a boat that capsized on the Ganges. Two people are confirmed dead and dozens are missing.
More than 20 million people have been affected across areas of northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Potheri Unnikrishnan, from the humanitarian group Actionaid, said he expected pockets of flooding to continue causing problems for months.
""It is absolutely necessary that everyone -- the government, the NGOs and the international community -- put more resources to fight this out,"" he said.
But an MP in Nepal, Purna Kumari Subedi, blamed a dam built in India at Laxmanpur, telling AFP that it should be destroyed.
Officials in Uttar Pradesh said they expected the situation to get better soon with water in three rivers -- the Ghagra, Rapti and Gandak -- receding.
In Bangladesh, the UN's World Food Program has been distributing emergency aid to flood-hit areas.
The agency estimated that one million people had been directly affected and some were in need of urgent assistance.
In Nepal, many roads in the flooded areas have been cut and bridges have been washed away.
It is proving hard for aid agencies and the government to bring help.
They have distributed food supplies to some communities, but many people who are still living in damaged mud and thatched homes complain it is not enough.