Indian tourists stranded in Nepal floods

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Monsoon floods and landslides have killed at least 66 people across Nepal and India but officials fear that figure could nearly double as rescuers search for dozens believed lost under mud and in submerged villages.

Meanwhile, many highway bridges which serve as the lifeline of the nation have been damaged, obstructing vehicular movement for relief and rescue programmes.

Similarly, seven persons died in Rautahat floods and landslides, two in Bardiya, one in Dhanusha, Makawanpur, Kailai and Palpa districts each.

Ten more people were missing and the death toll looked set to climb as large parts of the country were under water, the officials said.

Police said they recovered six bodies. Thousands of houses are inundated in the region.

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Nepal's weather department issued an alert Saturday warning that heavy rains were expected to continue for another day, and advised districts to close schools and residents to stay indoors.

Footage aired on Nepali broadcasters showed villagers wading through waist-high water with their belongings and using boats to reach higher ground.

Biratnagar airport in the eastern district of Morang was closed after being submerged in a metre of water, authorities at the global terminal said.

The monsoon season, which starts in June and ends in September, causes big floods in Nepal each year. Biratnagar airport has been closed after flood water gushed into the airport area.

Meanwhile, Nepal Cabinet held an emergency meeting during which Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba ordered the local district administrations to intensify the rescue and release activities.

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