Pradipta Mohapatra, Managing Director of Orissa state (India) Disaster Management, said that more than 120 people died in monsoon storms and floods in India’s eastern states, and 17 rare rhinoceros drowned in a wildlife park.
He said on Tuesday that the victims were mostly farmers who were outdoors in their fields.
“A total of 52 people were killed in lightning strikes in Orissa state at the weekend.
Mohapatra added that floods also ravaged the eastern state of Bihar, where 38 people died and 2.8 million people were affected in a week of flooding.
He said further that in the north-eastern state of Assam, 34 people died and another 2 million people were affected, and soldiers were carrying out rescue operations to move flood victims to government shelters.
Forest Official, Suvashish Das, said further that not less than 17 rare rhinoceros, including nine calves, drowned in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park, home to the largest concentration of one-horned rhinos in the world.
He said that the park was inundated with floodwater.
Das said that the forest rangers had rescued nine rhinos and several hog deer and were treating them.
He said that Kaziranga is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to 2,400 one-horned rhinos, as well as tigers, elephants, wild buffaloes and swamp deer.