India monsoon kills 120 people; 17 rare rhinos drown in wildlife park

More than 120 people died in monsoon storms and floods in India's eastern states, and 17 rare rhinoceros drowned in a wildlife park, officials said Tuesday.

A total of 52 people were killed in lightning strikes in Orissa state on the weekend, said Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, managing director of the state's disaster management authority.

The victims were mostly farmers who were outdoors in their fields, Mohapatra said.

Floods also ravaged the eastern state of Bihar, where 38 people died and 2.8 million people were affected in a week of flooding, the Times of India online daily reported.

In the north-eastern state of Assam 34 people died and another 2 million people were affected, and soldiers were carrying out rescue operations to move flood victims to government shelters.

At least 17 rare rhinoceros, including nine calves, drowned in Assam's Kaziranga National Park, home to the largest concentration of one-horned rhinos in the world. The park was inundated with floodwater, forest official Suvashish Das said.

Forest rangers had rescued nine rhinos and several hog deer and were treating them.

Kaziranga is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to 2,400 one-horned rhinos, as well as tigers, elephants, wild buffaloes and swamp deer.

Last update: Tue, 02/08/2016 - 10:57
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