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Rains wreak havoc in Uttar Pradesh; 73 dead

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
August 18, 2008 19:24 IST
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Incessant rains across Uttar Pradesh have claimed 73 lives in the past 48 hours. The death toll due to heavy rains and flooding has reached 580 this year.

According to an official spoksperson, most of the deaths occurred due to houses collapsing in the bad weather.

"The victims were poor people, living either in kutcha houses or old and dilapidated buildings, which collapsed during heavy rains," Principal Secretary (revenue) Balwinder Kumar told

Several overflowing rivers had washed away or inundated hundreds of villages. "So far, we have received reports about partial or full collapse of as many as 890 houses," informed Kumar

The districts of Unnao, Hardoi, Lucknow, Etawah Etah, Fatehpur, Sultanpur and Sitapur were the worst hit.

With weather pundits predicting heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours, the toll is likely to go up.

"The already flooded rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Ghaghra , Rapti, Gandak and Sharda are threatening to rise further and even cross the danger mark at several places. We have advised concerned officials in all affected districts to maintain a strict vigil, while a round-the-clock flood control room is in place at the state headquarters to keep a constant watch on the situation," said Kumar.

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow