India floods: Thousands flee homes in Assam

A man rows a country boat past partially submerged houses in Burhabrhi village about 65km (41 miles) east of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 This is the second round of flooding in two months

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Nearly 1.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes by floods in the north-eastern state of Assam, officials say.

Eleven people have died in separate incidents of drowning in the past week, disaster management officials said in a statement.

Eighteen of 27 districts have been inundated by flood waters.

In July floods in Assam killed more than 100 people and forced over five million people to leave their homes.

The state government had said the July floods were the worst in the state since 1998.

Heavy monsoon rains have been again battering Assam for the past week and led to a second round of massive flooding.

Rescue officials said over 2,000 villagers had been inundated by water overflowing from the main Brahmaputra river.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarmah told the AFP news agency that a "maximum health alert" had been declared in the affected areas to prevent outbreaks of diseases like diarrhoea and typhoid.

He said doctors and paramedics had been sent to places where victims of the flooding were taking shelter.

Officials said 166 relief camps had been set up for the flood-affected people.

The Press Trust of India news agency said the Kaziranga national park, home to nearly two-thirds of the world's remaining one-horned rhinos, had been flooded once again.

The July floods killed at least 559 animals, including 14 one-horned rhinos, in the park.

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