Floods in holy city halt cremations
INDIA’S holy city of Varanasi has been forced to halt cremations along the banks of the sacred river Ganges as deadly floods from monsoon rains hit parts of the country.
More than 100,000 people have been forced from their homes in recent days in northern Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Bihar states as rainswollen rivers burst their banks.
More than 20 people have been killed in the two states from the floods that hit swathes of India every year during the monsoon season.
Floods have inundated the ghats or platforms on the edge of the Ganges, forcing families to cremate loved ones on the terrace roofs of nearby houses, Uttar Pradesh government spokesperson Shailendra Pandey said.
Varanasi is India’s most sacred Hindu city where thousands flock to cremate relatives in the hope of attaining nirvana, before scattering the ashes in the Ganges.
Several people have also been killed in central Madhya Pradesh from flooding in the last 24 hours.
Floods and landslides from the monsoon running from June to September claimed more than 50 lives last month, mostly in the remote, northeast state of Assam. –