Monsoon Death Toll in Asia Crosses 2,000

The death toll from this season's monsoon rains across South Asia passed 2,000, as authorities in India reported Monday that 39 bodies were found floating in receding flood waters and four children were killed when a house collapsed.

The toll already is well above last year, when 1,500 people were killed during a monsoon (search) that extended to mid-October. The monsoon usually runs from June through September.

At least 1,195 people have died in India (search), 694 in Bangladesh, 124 in Nepal and five in Pakistan, bringing the overall figure to 2,018, according to figures supplied by authorities in each country and compiled by The Associated Press. Victims have mostly died from drowning, mudslides and waterborne diseases.

In northern India's Himachal Pradesh state, 20 workers were rescued Monday after being trapped for a day in a tunnel being built as part of a power project, said engineer Nirmal Prasad. Mudslides have blocked the tunnel's entrance.

Also, the state's authorities said they evacuated nearly 1,000 people from 15 villages that are likely to be submerged if a seasonal lake in Tibet bursts its banks. Although rains in the mountainous region stopped Monday, "the threat persists," Manish Garg, deputy commissioner of the Kinnaur district, told the AP.

The lake, formed by landslides, is 1.2 miles long and about 3,000 feet wide, Garg said, citing the latest update from the Indian government, which has been relying on Chinese authorities for information. The Indian government had earlier reported the lake was much bigger.

The Indian foreign ministry said it has been receiving "useful information" from the Chinese government and was awaiting permission for an Indian team of hydrologists to visit the site.

Four years ago, a similar lake formed by landslides burst its banks and killed more than 100 people died and washed away dozens of bridges and roads.

Meanwhile, 39 bodies were recovered from flood waters across eastern Bihar state, said government official Upendra Sharma.

In western India's Gujarat state, a flood-swollen river continued to feed into an overflowing dam and 30 villages downstream have been put on alert for possible evacuation, said S.K. Mahapatra, the dam's administrator.

Four siblings, aged 6 to 10, were killed when an outer wall of their house collapsed Sunday because of heavy rains in Bhavnagar, a town 85 miles east of Ahmadabad, Gujarat's main city, police said.

The flooding in Gujarat has devastated the groundnut, cotton and sunflower crops of some 300,000 farmers, said state Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

In Bangladesh (search), the Food and Disaster Management Ministry reported Monday that three more people had died from waterborne disease as floodwaters recede from two-thirds of the country.