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Tuesday, 13 June, 2000, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Flood causes damage in India

At least 10 people are feared to have drowned in flash floods in the north east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Officials say water levels in the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries are dangerously high and still rising, because of continuous rain in the Himalayan region.

The neighbouring state of Assam is also under threat and preparations are underway to help stranded villagers.

More than 20,000 homes have been destroyed and thousands of acres of crops and thousands of cattle have been lost because of the floodwaters.

"The current wave of floods has washed away many villages, including bridges in Arunachal Pradesh," Assam's Minister in charge of flood control, Pramod Gogoi, told the Reuters news agency.

Rescue missions

The army has been called in to help those who have been cut off by the rising waters and air force helicopters are reported to have carried out rescue missions.

"The air force helicopters located a boat carrying at least 70 passengers in marshy land and rescued them," a senior police officer in Arunachal Pradesh is quoted as saying.

Air force helicopters are also said to have rescued more than 200 people marooned in Assam, including some from treetops.

Floodwaters are also posing a threat to the 250 sq mile Kaziranga National Park, home to the world's largest population of the one-horned rhinoceros.

Two years ago, 39 rhinos were drowned in floods.

Floods are an annual feature in the region, destroying acres of cropland and villages.

Officials say the situation this year may have been caused, in part, due to heavy rain in China, which lies to the north.

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09 Jul 99 | South Asia
25 killed in Bihar floods
18 Sep 98 | South Asia
Flood aid for tigers at risk
02 Sep 98 | South Asia
India grapples with floods
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