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40 killed in Nepal floods, landslides

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Torrential rain in Nepal has claimed 30 lives and have left hundreds of homes inundated

Dozens of elephants and rafts have been deployed to rescue almost 500 people trapped by floods in a popular resort in southern Nepal, officials say.

Floods and landslides triggered by incessant rains have killed 40 persons in Nepal, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Sunday.

The Nepal Red Cross Society is also working with local authorities to warn thousands of people of further threats from rising rivers and further landslides. He directed personnel from Nepal Police and Armed Police Force for rescue efforts. Dozens more are missing or injured. "But we are more focused on rescuing those who are alive than collecting details about the dead", he said, indicating the death toll could go up.

The Meteorological Forecasting Division has forecast moderate to heavy rains to continue across the country for the next few days.

The floods and landslides have claimed at least 53 lives over the past three days, in the Terai region bordering India and other areas of Nepal, according to the Government of Nepal.

A statement released on Saturday said six persons were killed in Sunsari, four each in Kalikot, Rasuwa, Sindhuli and Chitwan, three in Panchthar, three in Banke, two in Baglung and one each in Jhapa and Makwanpur districts.

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"Monsoon rains and floods in the past two weeks have affected more than 100,000 people".

"Hundreds of families are taking shelter in local schools".

Around 600 tourists were stranded due to flooding in Sauraha in Chitwan.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba ordered district administrations to intensify rescue operations.

Biratnagar airport in the eastern district of Morang was closed after being submerged in a metre of water, authorities at the global terminal said.

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