Villagers use a boat as they row past partially submerged houses at a flood-affected village in Morigaon district in the northeastern state of Assam, India July 14, 2017. — Reuters picVillagers use a boat as they row past partially submerged houses at a flood-affected village in Morigaon district in the northeastern state of Assam, India July 14, 2017. — Reuters picAHMEDABAD, July 16 — Heavy monsoon flooding has killed four people in western India, officials said today, with grave fears held for at least six others still missing following torrential downpours.

Major rail networks and dozens of highways in Gujarat state have been interrupted by floodwaters, and power to more than 120 villages cut in badly-hit areas.

“Four people died after being swept away in rain waters since Saturday morning. Six others are missing”, Pankaj Kumar, a senior state government official, told AFP, adding the National Disaster Response Force was searching for survivors.

The force, plus India’s military, had rescued more than 2,000 people from the worst-hit regions and relocated them to higher ground.

The Indian Meteorological Department predicts heavy rain to batter the state for another two days, especially in coastal areas, the department’s Manorama Mohanty told AFP.

Monsoon rains have caused serious flooding in other states including Bihar in the east and Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in India’s remote northeast.

The latter two states are enduring their worst floods and landslides in years amid more than a week of incessant rain. 

Nearly half a million people in Assam have been affected, and more than two dozens killed in the downpours.

India’s junior home minister Kiren Rijiju posted on Twitter from Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday that funding for medicines and relief efforts had been released to assist those struggling in the aftermath of the disaster. — AFP



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