Death Toll Nears 200 in Flood-Stricken India

Rescue operations continued in four Indian states where monsoon floods have killed nearly 200 people and forced more than 1 million from their homes.  The western and southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra have been inundated by heavy rains and flooded rivers.  The southern state of Kerala, a tourist haven known for its beaches, hill resorts and backwaters, has been the worst-hit region. The death toll there reached 76 Monday, while 116 were reported killed in the other three states.  Authorities warn the death toll will rise as crews search flooding debris and collapsed buildings.  Nearly 125 people stranded on a road washed away by floods were airlifted to safety by the Indian Air Force.  Rains subsided in many parts of the flood-hit states and waters have begun receding, lending a much-needed hand to search and rescue crews, officials said.  While the monsoon rains are a vital lifeline in drought-stricken India, they are also responsible for killing hundreds of people across the country every year. Last year, Kerala was hit by its worst floods in almost a century, in which an estimated 450 people were killed….
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