| GEO World|
| At least 74 killed in India flooding|
| Updated at: 1116 PST, Thursday, August 21, 2008|
LUCKNOW: At least 74 people died as heavy monsoon rains lashed northern India, bringing dozens of poorly constructed buildings crashing down, police said Thursday.
All the deaths were reported from Uttar Pradesh state, one of India's poorest, and raise the death toll across the country from this year's monsoon season to more than 300 people.
``The dead included women and children, as most of the fatalities occurred due to the incidents of houses collapsing,'' said state police spokesman Surendra Srivastava.
One of the worst hit places was the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, where 11.5 inches (290 millimeters) of rain fell in 24 hours.
The deluge caused the walls of one house to collapse, killing nine members of a singe family, said Srivastava. Four others were also killed in the city. Schools in Varanasi and the nearby town of Barabanki were closed and the Ganges River was overflowing in some points, said Atul Kumar Gupta, a senior state official. Varanasi is 165 miles (270kilometers) southeast of Lucknow, the state capital.