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Monsoon death toll crosses 2,000 in South Asia as storm lashes Pakistan

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« on: August 11, 2007, 02:56:11 am »

Monsoon death toll crosses 2,000 in South Asia as storm lashes Pakistan  

Authorities rushed food, drinking water and medicine to Indiaís flood-hit areas Friday to ward off epidemics, as thousands of people returned to their damaged homes and the death toll in South Asia rose above 2,000.
Torrential rains have stranded some 19 million in the past two weeks across much of northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal, flooding rivers and submerging villages and farmland, officials said. The rains have subsided and waters begun receding in most of the worst-hit regions with the storms moving to the west, hitting other parts of India and Pakistan.

Karachi, in Pakistan, was lashed by heavy winds and rains Friday that destroyed houses, flooded streets and killed at least 22 people, officials. It was the worst storm to hit southern Pakistan since June, when more than 200 people died in early monsoon rains in Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital. Vital to farmers whose crops feed hundreds of millions of people, the monsoon season runs from June to September as the rains work their way across the subcontinent. Itís a blessing and a curse for the subcontinent -- last year more than 1,000 people died.

Since the start of this yearís monsoon, more than 1,550 people have died in India; 226 people have been killed neighboring Bangladesh; 92 in Nepal, and at least 222 in Pakistan, officials said. In many areas, the rains have left behind pools of stagnant water that international aid groups warned Friday could easily become breeding ground for waterborne diseases.

AP  New Delhi
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