Death toll rises to 70 as monsoon rains sweep northern India

GERMAN PRESS AGENCY - DPA
NEW DELHI
Published 29.07.2018 21:19
Updated 29.07.2018 21:21
Roadside fruit vendors cover themselves with a plastic sheet during monsoon rains in Kolkata, India, Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo)
Roadside fruit vendors cover themselves with a plastic sheet during monsoon rains in Kolkata, India, Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo)

At least 34 people have died over the past two days in accidents brought on by heavy monsoon showers in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state, an official said Sunday.

The death toll in the incessant rains since Thursday reached 70 on Sunday with reports that 77 people were injured, Suresh Gautam, an official at Disaster Management Control in the state capital of Lucknow said.

Most of the deaths were caused by the collapse of roofs and walls of houses. Some were due to electrocution.

The western districts of Sahranpur, Meerut and Muzaffarpur were worst affected, Gautam said.

India's monsoon season between June and September often sees heavy rains that are vital for agriculture but can cause immense destruction.

The Meteorological Department has forecast heavy rain in the region over the next three days, raising fears of further damage and flooding with several rivers flowing near their danger levels.

A flood alert has been sounded in low-lying areas along the Yamuna river in the Indian capital New Delhi with a release of water from a barrage upstream.

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