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41 million impacted, 1,200 dead, jobs lost from flooding, landslides in Asia

Staff Writer |
Floods and landslides in South Asia have killed more than 1,200 people and affected living conditions for more than 41 million people this summer, U.N. estimates indicate.

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Monsoon season typically brings heavy rains and floods to India, Bangladesh and Nepal between June and September, but this year has been seen heavier than normal rains, officials said.

"This is the severest flooding in a number of years," Francis Markus, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies currently working in Nepal, told The New York Times.

India has seen most of the damage, with more than 600 deaths and 31 million people who have lost homes, caught disease and lack access to food and clean water, according to the United Nations.

On Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surveyed the damage in the Indian state of Bihar, one of the areas most devastated by monsoon season where government officials say nearly 400 people have been killed. Modi pledged $78 million for relief efforts there.

But recovery is likely to be prolonged due to the damage done to the farming industry, which will result in a loss of jobs in an area of India where employment is already scarce.

"This year farming has collapsed due to floods and we will witness a sharp rise in unemployment," said Anirudh Kumar, a disaster management official in Bihar's capital city of Patna, where many poor people come to find jobs.

In Bangladesh, half of the country's 64 districts are flooded, but water is beginning to recede, PRI reported.

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