NEW DELHI (AP) – Floodwaters raging in South Asia killed 22 more people, as villagers drowned, died of waterborne disease, and were electrocuted or crushed under their collapsing homes, officials said Saturday.

Soldiers were called out Saturday in parts of India’s Bihar state, and military helicopters and boats rescued people stranded on roofs and in treetops.

Seven people died in the Sitamarhi district, in northern Bihar, and four others were crushed under their collapsing homes in the Bhagalpur district in eastern part of the state, said Upendra Sharma, deputy secretary in the state’s relief and rehabilitation department. Bihar is one of India’s poorest regions.

Some 170 people have died in flooding this year across South Asia, where many people live in weak mud houses, with little access medical care.

The latest deaths brought the toll in India to 144 so far this year.

In Bihar’s Sheohar district, officials, police officers and doctors were wading through knee-deep water in local government offices, police stations and hospitals, Press Trust of India reported.

All of the region’s major rivers, including the Ganges, Sone, Ghaghra, Gandak, Bagmati and Kosi were rising, the federal government’s Central Water Commission said in a statement.

Across the eastern border in Bangladesh, drowning, electrocution and disease claimed 11 more lives as floods submerged more areas, officials said.

Three people died Friday when their small wooden boats capsized in swirling floodwaters 110 miles northeast of the capital, Dhaka, and two people in the same area were electrocuted when they touched submerged wires, officials said.

Floods also swept away two men on Friday, and a 3-year-old boy drowned, relief officials said. Ponds and wells have been inundated, and diarrhea caused by a shortage of clean water killed at least three people and sickened dozens, officials said.

Fresh rains in the past several days worsened flooding that had already left about 3,000 people homeless since late June. Villagers in flooded areas were using small boats to get around, as most roads were submerged.

Relief officials and volunteers were supplying food, clean water and basic medicines to people who sought shelter in schools or on river embankments.

Monsoon rains have also caused flooding and landslides across Nepal, leaving thousands homeless and blocking the main highway to the capital, Katmandu. At least six people drowned in rivers in Nepal this week.

AP-ES-07-10-04 1408EDT

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