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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Nepal flood dead 'tops 400'
Red Cross workers in Nepal
The Red Cross is leading the relief effort
At total of 422 people have been killed and another 173 are still missing after weeks of floods and landslides in Nepal, according to the Red Cross.

Over a quarter of a million people have been badly affected by the floods caused by torrential monsoon rain in 47 of Nepal's 75 districts, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent says.

Bangladeshi women wade through flood water
Bangladesh is also affected by floods
The risk of flooding is increasing as the rains spread westwards across the country and snow and melting glaciers swell rivers further.

In neighbouring Bangladesh and eastern India, tens of thousands of people have also been severely affected by heavy flooding in recent months.

But other parts of South Asia are still suffering from extreme heat and drought.

Uphill struggle

The Red Cross is appealing for $1.6 million to help provide food, shelter, blankets, clothing and water purification tablets to flood victims in Nepal.

Getting to the victims is, however, a difficult task because it is the remote hilly regions that are worst affected by the floods.

Rescue workers at landslide near Kathmandu
173 people are still missing in Nepal
Rains have cut off some roads leaving villages accessible only by helicopter.

And junior civil aviation minister Sarvandhan Rai told AP news agency that "We have not been able to provide enough helicopters to transport relief materials."

Disease threat

The rising flood water is increasing the risk of water borne diseases such as typhoid and dysentery.

"There is also the ever-present threat of mosquitoes breeding on stagnant floodwaters and the spread of malaria and encephalitis," warns the Red Cross.

Floods and landslides are common throughout the region during the monsoon season.

See also:

12 Aug 02 | South Asia
12 Aug 02 | South Asia
11 Aug 02 | In Depth
03 Aug 02 | South Asia
25 Jul 02 | South Asia
24 Jul 02 | South Asia
11 Aug 02 | Science/Nature
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