India Struggles to Save Millions in Flood

Villagers turning desperate, living on uncooked rice and polluted water
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2008 5:58 PM CDT
Flood affected villagers board boats to move to relief camps in Patna District in Bihar state, India, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Rescue helicopters are trying to save villagers in India after a dam flooded thousands of towns this month, killing 85, displacing 2 million, and wrecking a quarter-million acres of farmland, the Daily Telegraph reports. Torrential rain kept helicopters grounded for most of yesterday as one boat capsized, killing 20. “These are some of the worst floods in generations,” a UNICEF director said.

The Kosi river continues to flood more villages as locals become increasingly desperate, often living on rice and flour with polluted flood water. Damage to roads and electricity supplies is also extensive. Meanwhile, the prime minister has announced $228 million in aid and Oxfam is providing temporary shelter and supplies. (Read more India stories.)