South Asia Floods Death Toll Nearly 1,800

The death toll from monsoon flooding (search) in India crossed 1,000 Wednesday with reports of more than 150 people killed in the country's west and north, as rains destroyed crops, flooded highways and halted trains in South Asia.

The toll across South Asia from six weeks of monsoons reached 1,799, according to official figures compiled by The Associated Press.

Nearly 130 deaths occurred in India's (search) western Gujarat state over the past three days, in remote areas unreachable by roads or telephone, said state spokesman I.K. Jadeja. They included 17 people killed when heavy rains smashed three homes in Bharuch district.

On Tuesday, mudslides surged into an underground tunnel of the Tehri Dam power project, killing 30 workers and injuring 10 others, said N.S. Napalchyl, the principal disaster management secretary in northern Uttaranchal state, 185 miles north of New Delhi. Twenty-five bodies had been recovered by Wednesday and five remained buried under rubble, he said.

In Bangladesh (search), a boat carrying 10 villagers across a lake in a storm overturned on Wednesday, drowning a 3-year-old girl and a 70-year-old man while eight others swam to safety, said Nurul Afsar, an official in Moulvibazar district.

The storm also swept through several villages, destroying 50 mud and straw houses, he said. Two other people died of diarrhea in Bangladesh as the disease struck another 8,220 victims in the past 24 hours, the government said.

Diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid are spreading as waters recede, leaving behind sewage and filth and contaminating drinking water. Children are the worst affected.

U.N. agencies were meeting with foreign donors and government officials in the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, on Wednesday to assess the flood damage and relief and rehabilitation needs in preparation for an aid appeal that the United Nations (search) intends to launch next week.

Nearly two-thirds of Bangladesh is submerged by the worst flooding in six years, and 632 people have died. The government says 20 million people — or one-seventh of the population — will need food aid over the next five months.

The flooding has damaged about 5.68 million acres of cropland, causing financial losses estimated at $282 million, according to the Department of Agriculture.

"At least 4.5 million farmers and their families have been directly affected, and they will need assistance from the government," such as seeds and loan repayment delays, said Ibrahim Khalil, an Agriculture Department official.

Weather officials predicted heavy rains in northern and western India over the coming week, while in the eastern states and Bangladesh, officials worried about feeding the hungry and providing shelter to hundreds of thousands whose houses have been washed away.