Food Dropped to Indian Villagers

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2007 6:24 PM CDT
Forestry officials board a country boat to move to dry land after flood waters submerged their office in Pobitora wildlife sanctuary, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) east of Gauhati, India, Friday, July...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Helicopters dropped food today to some two million Indian villagers left stranded by heavy monsoon rains, the AP reports. Floods in South Asia have driven 19 million from their homes and left hundreds dead. Villagers have been killed by collapsing houses, violent waters and even panicked rhinos as neck-deep water forced them out of game preserves.

Helicopter pilots saw women and children screaming for help in treetops as food was dropped below. A top regional official said that the Indian government has “turned a blind eye” to annual flooding, noting that India and Nepal signed a treaty in 1996 to build dams and hydropower projects, but nothing has been done.