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Flood death toll rises to 62 in India's northeast

Indian Hindu Brahmins, sitting inside huge pots filled with water and flower petals, perform a Parjanya Yagna prayer ritual to appease the rain gods at the Kabir Ashram Temple in Vastral on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on July 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY

GAUHATI, India: The death toll from monsoon rains in northeastern India has risen above 60, with more than 2,000 villages inundated as rivers breached their banks, an official said Sunday.

More than a week of heavy rains in Assam state has caused the massive Brahmaputra river - one of Asia's largest - to exceed danger levels. Smaller rivers have also overflown their banks.

Floods and landslides have killed 62 people, Assam's agriculture minister Nilomoni Sen Deka said.

Deka said the disaster has affected about 2 million people.

The state's disaster management authority said thousands of homes have been destroyed and more than 480,000 people have sought shelter in government-run relief camps.

There was no rain Sunday in most parts of the state but thunderstorms were forecast over the next 24 hours.

The monsoon season in India begins in June and ends in September.

Assam suffers flooding almost every year but this year's disaster is the worst in at least a decade.

 

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