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Monsoon

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The annual monsoon rains have come heavy and early to India, swelling the Ganges, India's longest river, sweeping away houses, stranding thousands, and and killing more than 100 so far. Record downpours fell in Uttarakhand state, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, causing mudslides and flooding mountain villages. The high water is now reaching the capital of New Delhi, where nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated to government-run camps on higher ground. Authorities there said the situation would ease as the level of the Yamuna River was expected to start receding Thursday afternoon. [23 photos]

A submerged idol of Hindu Lord Shiva stands in the flooded River Ganges in Rishikesh, in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, on June 18, 2013. Torrential monsoon rains have cause havoc in northern India leading to flash floods, cloudbursts and landslides as the death toll continues to climb and more than 1,000 pilgrims bound for Himalayan shrines remain stranded. (AP Photo)     

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Monsoon season in southern Asia has begun, and in India the rains arrived ahead of schedule, easing drought concerns. Monsoon rains can be disruptive and even deadly, but crucial for the farmers whose crops feed millions of people. Though concerns for flooding are prevalent, the arrival of the rains brings colorful celebrations and relief from the heat every year. -Leanne Burden Seidel (32 photos total)
An Indian buffalo herder holding a traditional handmade umbrella stands in a field to keep watch of his buffaloes as monsoon clouds hover above in Bhubaneswar, India, on June 13, 2013. (Biswaranjan Rout/Associated Press)     

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One year ago, Pakistan suffered the worst flooding in its history, a slow-moving disaster that left some 2,000 dead and another 11 million homeless. Nearly one million are still without permanent shelter, and meanwhile, the flooding has returned. Though it's not on the same scale as last year's flood, this summer's damage is still significant. High water from monsoon rains has killed more than 200 people since early August, damaging or destroying some 670,000 homes and affecting more than 5 million people, according to the government and the United Nations. The disaster has once again overwhelmed the capacity of the government to assist, and the UN has asked for $357 million in international aid. Gathered here is a handful of recent images from Pakistan, where residents are once again coping with flooding on a massive scale. [36 photos]

A Pakistani woman displaced by the floods walks along a flooded road holding an axe to cut wood, in Digri district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, on September 19, 2011. The United Nations appealed for $357 million Sunday to help millions of Pakistanis affected by floods that have damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and destroyed millions of acres of crops. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

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