Monsoon Rains Batter Asia, Killing Hundreds
Photo via Twitter/TimesNow
Devastating monsoon rains have led to hundreds of deaths across the Asian continent, with rising waters and landslides forcing locals and tourists alike to seek higher ground and safer shelter, the AFP reported Monday.
In some places, the life-threatening weather conditions were compounded by Cyclone Komen, which made landfall in Bangladesh late last week.
Indian authorities said as many as 120 people have died and one million-plus more have been forced to evacuate their homes and villages. "More than 1.8 million people in 5,600 villages have been affected by the flooding," West Bengal management minister Javed Ahmad Khan told AFP, adding that "nearly 1.1 million have been moved to camps."
Nearby Myanmar has attributed nearly four dozen deaths to the heavy rainfall, while Pakistan has seen its death toll climb to 116.
Dozens of deaths have also been reported in Nepal and Vietnam, where approximately 1,500 tourists were left stranded on Co To Island for days after the heavy rainfall forced officials to suspend boat operations.
The AFP also reported that toxic mudslides in Vietnam's Quang Ninh province killed two families. The northern province is home to Ha Long Bay, a popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In addition to homes and villages, the deteriorating weather conditions have destroyed roads and bridges, making some towns inaccessible.
The United Nations said it will likely be days before officials know the full extent of the damage as swollen rivers, more heavy rain and strong winds present additional threats, per AFP. The death toll is also expected to rise as rescue officials make their way to hard-hit remote areas.
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