53 killed, one lakh displaced in Nepal floods

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Monsoon floods and landslides have killed at least 74 people across Nepal and India but officials fear that figure could rise sharply as rescuers search for dozens believed lost under mud and in submerged villages.

The heavy rain, which mainly hit the country's southern plains, led to the evacuation of 5,000 people, a Home Ministry official said. "We have more than 30 people confirmed dead".

Hundreds have died across India in torrential rain, floods and landslides since the onset of the wet season in April.

Nepal Police, Nepali Army and APF personnel are now performing rescue works in the state.

Efforts were also on to pack food items to be distributed to those affected by flooding and landslides, while helipads at Nepal Army's barracks have been kept ready for relief distribution.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, at least 13 persons were injured in the rain-related incidents and 17 others remained missing.

In the popular jungle safari resort of Sauraha in Chitwan, hotels were forced to shift their guests to higher floors as water rushed in.

"I have already instructed authorities concerned to rescue flood victims, move them to safer locations and immediately provide relief to them", he said.

"There isn't a house without water".

The District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee in its emergency meeting estimated that around 50,000 people have been hugely affected as floodwaters destroyed foodstuff and other belongings.

In the eastern city of Biratnagar an airport runway was under two feet of water, TV footage showed, leading to a suspension of flights.

Almost 100 people died previous year in Nepal during the rainy season, which typically begins in late June and lasts until the end of August.

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