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Monday, 11 June, 2001, 00:36 GMT 01:36 UK
Three dead in Assam floods
Dhubri town, Assam
Floods are an annual phenomenon in the region
Three people - two of them children - have died in monsoon flooding in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam.

More than 600,000 people have been displaced in the past week and the situation is the south of the state is worsening.

Map showing Assam
"The flood situation in southern Assam is grim as the water level is gradually rising, although rains have stopped in the last 24 hours," said Assam government spokesman Manoj Dev.

Troops are on alert as several rivers continue to flow above danger levels, and roads to the neighbouring states of Tripura and Mizoram were closed due to flooding.

The district of Karimganj, 370km (230 miles) south of the state capital Guwahati, has been most seriously affected, and some local people have been temporarily resettled in schools and government buildings.

Bulldozers

In Silchar district, the Barak river burst its banks, partially submerging Silchar town.

Many roads have been blocked by mud, and the authorities are using bulldozers to try and clear the debris.

Local officials said that many villagers preferred to remain in their homes, despite the flooding.

Large areas of rice paddy fields have been ruined by the floodwaters.

Floods in Tripura, which had claimed five lives and displaced 100,000 people, are now receding.

Floods in the north-east of India are an annual phenomenon.

Last August, floods in the region killed 100 people, and left 700,000 people in Assam alone.

Environmentalists say deforestation in hill areas is the one of main causes of flooding throughout the South Asia region.

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