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14 killed after heavy rains in India; death toll from monsoons rises to 79

Author/Source : Associated Press
Publish Date :Mon, 07 Jul 2008

Flooding, house collapses and lightning strikes caused by heavy rains killed at least 14 people in northern India, taking the reported death toll in the annual monsoon season to 79, officials said Sunday.

LUCKNOW, India (AP) -- Heavy rains lashed the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh state, flooding all the major rivers in the region, Surendra Srivastava, a police spokesman told The Associated Press in Lucknow, the state capital.

Fourteen people died Saturday in a variety of rain-related incidents.

Army and paramilitary forces were put on high alert and relief camps set up to evacuate people left homeless or trapped by the flood waters, Charanjeet Singh, a state government official said.

Eleven people died in the same region after heavy rains earlier in the week, officials said.

Monsoon rains usually hit India from June to September.

The precipitation is crucial for farmers whose crops feed hundreds of millions of people, but it also brings massive destruction across the country. Every year, thousands of people are killed by flooding, collapsing houses and other rain-related incidents.

Since the start of this monsoon season at least 79 people have been reported killed in eastern and northeastern India.