Hurricane Harvey toll increases to 37

The death toll in the catastrophic hurricane Harvey that lashed through the US state of Texas has increased to 37, the media reported.

The unrelenting storm that made landfall on August 25 unleashed its wrath on a wide swath east of Houston, leaving thousands stranded in flooded homes and forcing the evacuation of a nursing facility and even an emergency shelter where residents had sought refuge, reports CNN.

The storm left record-setting rain in Harris County — which saw 19 deaths — before unleashing 15 inches in the Beaumont area, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said.

But for the first time since the weekend, authorities said, the flooding in Houston, the fourth largest US city, is slowly receding in some areas.

Although the hurricane has weakened to a tropical depression with its centre now located in southwest Louisiana, emergency workers and volunteers went door to door for a fifth day on Wednesday, trying to rescue victims of the flood.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said authorities have received 60,000 to 70,000 calls for help.

“We just pray that the body count won’t rise significantly.” CNN quoted Acevedo as saying.

Harvey is still threatening to dump an additional 3 to 6 inches of rain from northern Louisiana into western Kentucky, forecasters said.

New Orleans officials announced a fundraiser to help the residents of Houston and other flooded Texas cities recover from Harvey.

Harvey has broken the US record for rainfall from a single storm, CNN reported. It has dumped almost 52 inches of rain in parts of Texas.

The coastal cities of Beaumont and Port Arthur got pummelled with 26 inches of rain in 24 hours.

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