• At least 700 people killed in South Asia floods

    Ramesh Tiwari
    August 21, 2017
    At least 700 people killed in South Asia floods

    New Delhi ( AFP ) : The confirmed death toll passed 700 and more than a million were driven from their homes as large swathes of South Asia reeled under monsoon floods on Sunday, officials said.

    At least 100 deaths were reported overnight across India and Bangladesh following the latest in a series of deluges since August 10, as the annual monsoon hit the north and east of the region.

    Anirudh Kumar, a top disaster management official in India’s eastern state of Bihar, said 53 bodies were recovered as water levels started to recede in some areas.”The total death toll stands at 205,” Kumar told AFP.

    Nearly 400,000 people were staying in state-run shelters, with an estimated 10mn affected by the deluge, the worst since 2008 when nearly 300 people were killed.

    Some 10,000 emergency workers and soldiers were supporting local officials in relief and rescue operations. In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state 69 deaths were reported as two million residents remain affected by the floods.

    Nearly half of the 75 districts in the state have been hit by the floods and authorities are seeking military help to evacuate people in at least two districts.

    Both the states border Nepal, which was also hit by landslides and floods that killed 135 people. Another 30 are reported to be missing.

    At least 20% of the 28mn people in the landlocked Himalayan state are affected by what the United Nations has called the worst floods to hit the country for 15 years.

    In India’s eastern state of West Bengal and in the remote northeastern state of Assam, 122 people have died with nearly three million affected by floods.

    More than 450,000 people we living in relief camps in Assam after the second wave of floods to hit the state in less than four months. The deluge has badly damaged railways and roads.

    ‘Situation improving’

    Three more bodies were retrieved in a northern village in West Bengal state, where 55 people have now died. More than a million have been affected, although officials say the situation is fast improving.

    In Bangladesh at least 115 people have died and some 5.7mn people have been affected by the floods, Shamim Naznin, head of the control room at the department of disaster management, told AFP.

    She said 31 of the country’s 64 districts have been hit by the floods, forcing nearly 300,000 people to flee their homes and take refuge in makeshift shelters.

    The state flood forecasting and warning centre said some 30% of the country has been inundated, the worst flooding for a decade.

    But the situation in the country’s north and west was improving quickly because the level of major rivers was falling fast, officials said.

    Every year hundreds die in landslides and floods during the monsoon season that hits India’s southern tip in early June and sweeps across South Asia for four months.

    A massive landslide in India’s Himachal Pradesh state swept two passenger buses off a hillside, killing 46 people on August 13.

    Eight others, including two soldiers, were killed in Uttarakhand state in landslides on Monday.

    Nearly 350 people died in the first wave of floods that began in mid-July in India’s western states of Gujarat and Rajasthan and several remote northeastern states.

    Aug. 2017

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      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

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