India floods: Many thousands flee homes in Assam

Flood-affected local residents move to safer places on a boat next to their damaged huts after heavy rains at Jajimukh village in the northeastern Indian state of Assam June 27, 2012 Almost one million people have been displaced by the floods

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Almost one million people have been forced to leave their homes by floods in India as torrential rains lash the north-eastern state of Assam, officials say.

At least 27 people have died in flood-related incidents, five of them drowning after their boat sank in a swollen river.

Twenty-one of 27 districts have been inundated by flood waters, reports say.

Heavy monsoon rains have been battering Assam for the past fortnight.

Assam Agriculture Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka told AFP news agency that around 900,000 people had been displaced from their homes due to the flooding, and most of them had taken shelter on higher ground and in tents.

Mr Deka told reporters that this was the worst flood in the state since 1998.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said all major rivers in the state, including the largest, the Brahmaputra, were "running menacingly high with breaches reported in many places".

In neighbouring Bangladesh heavy rains and multiple landslides have killed more than 100 people in recent days.

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