Torrential monsoon rains swept away homes and triggered landslides across South Asia, affecting millions of people and claiming at least 180 lives, officials said. The monsoon is crucial for irrigation and groundwater supplies in the impoverished region — home to a fifth of the world’s population — and brings relief after the unforgiving summers.
But the downpours — which stretch from June to September — can turn deadly and have wreaked havoc again this year across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, with people, dwellings and boats in remote low-lying areas washed away. At least five children drowned in Bangladesh on Monday, taking the toll in the country to 34, including 18 hit by lightning and seven who drowned after their boat capsized in choppy waters in the Bay of Bengal.
Hundreds of thousands have been marooned by floodwater in the country’s north, with one of the major Himalayan rivers, the Brahmaputra, over a metre (40 inches) above the “danger level”, officials said. In Nepal, at least 67 people have died although flood waters have started receding. Images showed rescuers using inflatable dinghies to evacuate families trapped in flooded houses.