1,200 DEAD. MONSOON FLOODS CUT OFF VILLAGES, SWAMP FARMS IN SOUTH ASIA...

Villagers in Assam State, India, resorted to traveling on makeshift rafts last week. Credit Anupam Nath/Associated Press

 

MUMBAI, India — More than 1,000 people have died in floods across South Asia this summer, and as sheets of incessant rain pummeled the vast region on Tuesday, worries grew that the death toll would rise along with the floodwaters...

According to the United Nations, at least 41 million people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have been directly affected by flooding and landslides resulting from the monsoon rains, which usually begin in June and last until September.

In Nepal, thousands of homes have been destroyed and dozens of people swept away. Elephants were pressed into service, wading through swirling waters to rescue people, and aid workers have built rafts from bamboo and banana leaves.

But many people are still missing, and some families have held last rites without their loved ones’ bodies being found.

“This is the severest flooding in a number of years,” Francis Markus, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said by phone from Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital.

Crossing through flood water in Tilathi, Nepal, last week. Credit Prakash Mathema/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Asked how the situation in Nepal compared to that in Houston, Mr. Markus said, “We hope people won’t overlook the desperate needs of the people here because of the disasters closer home.”

India has also suffered immensely. Floods have swept across the states of Assam, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and other areas.

Flood-affected people sleeping by a highway toll plaza in the Indian state of Bihar last week. Credit Aftab Alam Siddiqui/Associated Press

And the rain keeps coming.

On Tuesday, Mumbai, the sprawling financial capital, was soaked to the bone. Nearly all day, the rain drummed down. As people scurried up the sidewalks, the wind tore umbrellas out of their hands.

Floods in Mumbai led to thigh-high water on the streets on Tuesday. Credit Shailesh Andrade/Reuters

Busy intersections were deluged and cars struggled to part the muddy, greenish waters. Several Mumbai television channels reported that more rain had fallen on the city in the past several days than any other time since July 2005, when severe flooding killed more than 1,000 people in this part of India.

Floods covered the streets last week in Agartala, the capital of Tripura State in India. Credit Arindam Dey/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Schools and colleges were shut. Rising water spilled into hospitals and sloshed across the floors.

Police officials warned people to leave their cars behind if they were caught in a flash flood.

The Mumbai police, writing on Twitter, urged people to abandon their cars if they encountered high water.

The monsoons have battered Bangladesh as well. A low-lying and densely populated country of 165 million, Bangladesh is chronically ravaged by flooding. This year’s monsoons have left roughly a third of its terrain submerged.

Bangladeshi commuters use a rickshaw to cross a flooded street amid heavy rainfall in Dhaka on July 26, 2017. Credit Munir Uz Zaman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Corinne Ambler, a Red Cross spokeswoman in Bangladesh who had just taken an aerial tour of the devastation, said she was stunned.

“All I could see was water, the whole way,” she said in a telephone interview from Dhaka, the capital. “You have tiny little clumps of houses stuck in the middle of water.”

After visiting some of the afflicted villages by boat, she said that many Bangladeshis had told her, “We’re used to flooding, but we’ve never seen anything like this in our lives.”

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