Rescue members evacuate people from a flood-affected neighbourhood in Patna on Tuesday. Reuters
The death toll in eastern India from torrential late monsoon rains has risen to nearly 140, officials said on Tuesday as hospitals and schools were inundated with dirty rainwater.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said the current monsoon has been the heaviest since 1994, classifying it “above normal”, and this year's season has been longer than usual.
Over the past four days 111 people have died in Uttar Pradesh state and another 28 lost their lives in neighbouring Bihar, government officials told AFP.
Some 900 inmates had to be shifted from a Ballia district prison in Uttar Pradesh to “ensure their safety and health” after rainwater flooded the premises.
Residents of Patna — the capital of Bihar, home to two million people — used lifeboats to escape heavily water-logged homes.
Although the rains have stopped, large swathes of the city remained submerged, with schools and shops shut.
Images showed rainwater swamping hospital wards and residential areas where disaster management officials delivered milk, bananas and drinking water pouches on inflatable boats.
The annual monsoon season usually lasts from June to September but late heavy rains have continued to lash several parts of the country this year, wreaking havoc.
“In spite of late monsoon onset and large deficient rainfall during the month of June, the seasonal rainfall ended in above normal category,” the IMD said on Monday.
At least 100 people have died in northern India over the last three days in unusually heavy late monsoon rains which have submerged streets, hospital wards and houses, officials said on Monday.
The southern state of Kerala, a tourist haven known for its beaches, hill resorts and backwaters, has been the worst hit region for the second consecutive year, forcing the closure of the Kochi international airport for three days last week.
Farmers typically start planting their summer-sown crops June 1, when monsoon rains usually reach India. Planting usually continues until the end of July or early August.
UAE's Embassy in London welcomed over 500 friends from the UK, UAE, and internationally to a grand reception at London’s famed Natural History Museum in South Kensington to commemorate 51 years since the founding of the UAE.
"On this day, we commemorate the bright memory of the Founding Fathers, led by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his brothers, the Founders of the Nation, as well as their determination, wisdom and vision that established the Union.”
President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the 51st UAE National Day is a day to recall lessons of the past, and look at the present with awareness and contemplation, while looking to the future with hope, optimism and confidence.