India: flooding, food riots in east strain ties with Nepal

Food riots erupted Aug. 27 in eastern India, where more than 2 million people have been forced from their homes and about 250,000 houses destroyed in the worst flooding in 50 years. One person was killed in Madhepura district when villagers clashed over limited supplies of food at overcrowded relief centres. The Kosi River in Bihar state smashed through mud embankments and changed course last week, inundating hundreds of villages and towns and killing nearly 50. The devastation has strained India’s ties with Nepal, since the disaster is apparently due to deforestation and failure to maintain enbankments upstream in Nepalese territory. (Reuters, PTI, Aug. 27; Times of India, Aug. 28)

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