Death toll in Nepal landslides, floods rises to 49

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Monsoon floods and landslides have killed at least 66 people across Nepal and India but officials fear that figure could nearly double as rescuers search for dozens believed lost under mud and in submerged villages.

Chief District Officer Narayan Prasad Bhatta said four rubber rafts have been sought from neighbouring Devghat to carry out relief operations.

The Red Cross said in a statement the death toll had reached at least 53, with dozens more missing and injured.

Seventeen bodies have been recovered from the accident site in the Himalayan state, said Sandeep Kadam, a senior official at the scene.

Several houses inundated in Bara floods, on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

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"Since Friday, at least 40 people have been killed in the floods and landslides", home ministry spokesman Deepak Kafle told AFP, upgrading the previous toll of 25.

The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said further heavy rains were expected on Sunday in the country's central and mid-western regions. Monsoon rains from June to September are important for farm-dependent Nepal, but they also cause havoc each year.

Yesterday, Nepal Cabinet had held an emergency meeting during which Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had ordered the local district administrations to intensify the rescue and release activities. In the eastern city of Biratnagar an airport runway was under two feet of water, TV footage showed, leading to a suspension of flights.

Families perched on trees with young children overnight as flood waters swept away homes in a village in southern district of Chitwan, local media reported.