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Thousands marooned in fresh flooding

Thousands of people were marooned as rain continues to ravage in Kolkata , with city stagnant water was posing a serious health risk.

kolkata Updated: Jul 07, 2007, 16:42 IST

Thousands of people were marooned in India on Saturday as monsoon rains continued to ravage parts of the country, sparking fresh flooding.

In Kolkata, water was receding from some streets but in other areas of the city stagnant water was posing a serious health risk.

"We are still concerned about waterlogging in some streets as it could trigger water-borne diseases," Sanchita Bakshi, says a Kolkata top health official."

"But the situation in the districts is bad now," she said.

At least six districts in West Bengal remained cut off from the rest of the country after surging rivers broke through mud embankments and swamped hundreds of villages.

At least 700,000 people were affected by the floods in the state and thousands were being evacuated to higher ground, officials said.

In neighbouring Orissa, soldiers in boats rescued some 1,000 villagers as water from the Subarnarekha river swamped 400 villages, affecting nearly 200,000 people.

In Rajasthan, water breached a portion of a century-old dam, but authorities said they had the situation under control.

A national highway was closed as a precautionary measure.

"The villages are safe, but people were being moved to higher ground," Kiran Soni Gupta, a senior government official, said.

International anti-poverty group ActionAid said in New Delhi on Friday at least 41 reservoirs across the country were choking with excess water and could result in more disastrous floods, especially in the west and south of the country.

Gujarat was bracing for very different problem after being hit by floods in the past week. Officials warned farmers about a possible invasion by desert locusts from Africa.

Flooding and storms have killed nearly 700 people across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan over the past 15 days.

ht epaper

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