Death toll of Hurricane Harvey over 60

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Houston, Sep 5 (IANS) More than 60 people have died or are feared dead in flooding or circumstances connected to Tropical Storm Harvey, according to local officials on Monday.

Medical examiners are in the process of confirming which deaths are related to the historic flooding. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences confirmed 29 storm deaths on Saturday, all but one of which were accidental drownings, almost half of the death toll so far.

Among those deaths is a family of six reported missing after their van was swept away by floodwaters in east Houston, Xinhua news agency reported.

At least six people have died in Galveston County near the Gulf Coast as a result of Harvey-related flooding.

It’s US Labor Day on Monday, but people in Houston area are busy aiding thousands of residents displaced by flooding, homeowners and businesses continued assessing property damage and some residents are eager to clean up their houses.

However, the removal of debris piled on the streets will require a massive effort from government agencies.

In a Sunday morning update, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials said President Donald Trump’s approval of disaster assistance authorized the federal government to pick up 90 per cent of the cost of debris removal, accelerating cleanup efforts.

Harvey blew ashore on August 25 as the most powerful hurricane hitting Texas in more than 50 years, displacing more than one million people and damaged some 200,000 homes in a path of destruction that stretches for more than 500 km. The Houston area has been devastated by severe flooding, after receiving 1.4 m of rain.

–IANS

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