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Heavy rain kills 49 in northern India

NEW DELHI (AFP): Heavy monsoon rains have killed at least 49 people in north India’s Uttar Pradesh state since Thursday officials said, as the national weather agency issued further storm warnings.

The rain has sparked floods and caused buildings to collapse. Some of the victims died after they were buried by such buildings, while others were drowned, electrocuted or killed in traffic accidents caused by the rain, disaster management officials said. With scores of houses damaged, authorities in Uttar Pradesh, home to some 220 million people, were on high alert and called for all buildings at risk to be vacated.

The torrential rains have also hit New Delhi and the western state of Rajasthan that is popular with tourists, where 11 centimetres (4.3 inches) of rain was reported in 24 hours in Bharatpur district Friday. New Delhi’s Yamuna river crossed the danger mark of 204 metres by one metre on Saturday leading the authorities to issue an alert. The water level in the river is expected to rise further, Delhi government said.

Building collapses are common across India, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September. The meteorological office has warned of heavy rainfall across much of northern India for the next five days.

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