Floods in India's Assam kill nine one-horned rhinos

By Tora Agarwala

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) -More than 150 animals, nine of them rare one-horned rhinoceros, have drowned in floods at the Kaziranga National Park in India's northeastern state of Assam, authorities said.

Assam is grappling with flash floods triggered by heavy rain over the past two months. At least 79 people have been killed in the flooding, which has inundated farms, residential areas and displaced thousands. Seven deaths have been recorded since Tuesday, according to the Assam disaster management authority.

The Kaziranga National Park, with almost one-third of its camps flooded, is home to nearly half of the global population of one-horned rhinos, which stands at around 4,000.

India's weather department said on Wednesday that heavy rainfall is expected to lash northern and northeastern states for the next 2-3 days, which could further worsen the situation.

Water levels in 9 rivers in Assam are already above dangerous levels, while the tributaries of the Brahmaputra River are expected to rise further until Wednesday, according to a state government assessment report.

Multiple rivers in India's eastern state of Bihar are also close to breaching their banks as water flows downstream from neighboring Nepal, parts of which were also flooded earlier this week.

(Reporting by Tora Agarwala in Guwahati and Ainnie Arif in New Delhi; editing by Miral Fahmy)