More than 250 dead in India monsoon floods as holy city submerged

More than 250 people in three Indian states have died since the monsoon season began in June, officials said Thursday, as the holy city of Varanasi was the latest to grapple with flooding.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated due to the rain to state-run relief shelters in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, with major rivers, including the Ganges, in spate.

Varanasi residents said this year's flooding was the worst since 1978 to hit the key Hindu pilgrimage site in Uttar Pradesh, which is one of India's oldest, holiest and most culturally rich cities.

Schools were closed, and disaster management personnel were distributing potable water, food and medicine on boats to residents trapped in waterlogged areas in the city where thousands of pilgrims usually flock on a daily basis to take a dip in the Ganges River.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday on Twitter that he was "deeply concerned" by the floods in Varanasi and promised aid.

Across Uttar Pradesh, more than 40 people have died in the rains, according to local media.

In the worst-hit state of Bihar, at least 127 people have died and more than 3 million are affected, disaster management officials said.

In Madhya Pradesh, 103 people have died, officials said, though the situation had improved with rains subsiding over the past few days.

India's monsoon season, which runs until September, is a lifeline for farmers, but also causes hundreds of deaths and massive destruction.

Last update: Thu, 25/08/2016 - 12:38

More from World

Car bombing in Baghdad kills at least four, injures 10

A car bomb exploded Saturday in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing at least four civilians, police and witnesses...

Egypt's top court revokes police power on protests

Egypt's top court has quashed power granted to police to ban street protests.

Indonesian police release seven accused of treason

Indonesian police on Saturday released seven people, including two former generals and a rock star, a day after they...

Indonesian police plane carrying 13 people crashes into sea

An Indonesian police plane carrying 13 people crashed into the sea on Saturday, police said. 

At least 17 dead in latest Chinese coal mine accident

An explosion has killed at least 17 workers at a coal mine in northern China and 10 miners remain trapped, state...