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Monsoon Rains Kill at Least 40 in South Asia

A resident searches for belongings near the debris of a house following flooding in Kasuarbori village, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, July 13, 2019.

KATHMANDU, NEPAL - Floods and landslides triggered by monsoon rains have killed at least 40 people across South Asia in the last two days, officials said Saturday.

The monsoon, which lasts from June to September, causes widespread death and destruction across South Asia each year.

In Nepal, 27 people have died in floods and landslides after heavy rains hit the country's eastern region and the southern plains.

Bishwaraj Pokharel, spokesperson for Nepal police, added that another 11 people were injured and 15 others reported missing.

Three of the victims were killed when a wall collapsed in Kathmandu.

"Our first priority is lifesaving rescue and all our resources have been deployed," Home Ministry official Umakanta Adhikari told AFP.

Rescues by boat

Police used boats to bring people to safety as rivers swelled, inundating their settlements, while parents were seen wading through chest-high waters carrying children on their shoulders.

Nepal's weather department issued a high alert for the southern Sapta Koshi river on Saturday and sent text warnings to people in the area.

In neighboring India, 11 deaths have been recorded in the northeastern states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, officials said Friday.

Monsoon floods have inundated 21 districts in Assam, affecting thousands, officials said Friday.

In Bangladesh, aid groups were providing rations to Rohingya refugees in the southeast of the country, with the U.N. World Food Program saying Friday that two people, including a child, had died.

Last year, more than 1,200 people were killed across South Asia in monsoon storms, with India's Kerala suffering its worst floods in nearly 100 years.