Published January 13, 2015
Monsoon (search) floods in India's western Gujarat (search) state have inundated more than 7,200 villages, left about 175,000 homeless and killed at least 131 people over the past week, officials and news reports said Sunday.
One of the world's 359 remaining Asiatic lions also was found drowned Friday near Gujarat's Droneshwar dam, down river from its home in the Gir (search) wildlife sanctuary, according to the Hindustan Times newspaper.
Soldiers were helping police and civilian rescue workers in the area, while air force helicopters aided in rescue missions and food drops. Most of those left homeless in Gujarat are poor villagers who also lost their cattle and belongings.
The state flood response center has recorded 131 deaths in Gujarat over the past week.
India's monsoon season begins in June and continues until the end of September. Downpours have lashed Gujarat since last weekend, submerging vast areas.
In neighboring Pakistan, troops in life jackets used motor boats to help feed and rescue thousands marooned by flash floods that have inundated dozens of villages in the country's North West Frontier province, an official said. No casualties have been reported.
Flash floods washed away two homes, several rice paddies and maize fields on Sunday in Swat district, said Abdul Wali Yousafzai, an official at the flood warning center in the provincial capital, Peshawar. No one was reported hurt.
Fresh rains in neighboring Afghanistan are swelling the Kabul River (search), which flows into the Swat River.
"We are expecting more flooding," Yousafzai said, adding flood alerts were issued Sunday in the districts of Peshawar (search), Charsadda and Nowshera.
Meanwhile, the provincial government appealed for financial assistance to provide shelter, food and medicine for those affected by the floods.
"We are using our own resources but they are limited. Therefore, the central government and the international community should help the trouble-stricken people in the province," said Siraj-ul Haq, the province's finance minister.
Haq said the worst floods in more than a decade have totally or partially damaged 14,000 homes in the three districts.