US tourist dies while trying to cross swollen river in Nepal

In this photograph taken on Aug 16, 2014, Nepalese villagers walk through floodwaters in the village of Holiya in Banke District some 351km west of Kathmandu. A United States tourist died on Thursday while trying to cross a swollen river in Nepa
In this photograph taken on Aug 16, 2014, Nepalese villagers walk through floodwaters in the village of Holiya in Banke District some 351km west of Kathmandu. A United States tourist died on Thursday while trying to cross a swollen river in Nepal, the latest victim of floods and landslides feared to have killed more than 250 people, an official said. -- PHOTO: AFP

KATHMANDU (AFP) - A United States tourist died on Thursday while trying to cross a swollen river in Nepal, the latest victim of floods and landslides feared to have killed more than 250 people, an official said.

The 81-year-old American man was found dead on the banks of the Paruwa river in western Nepal, where floods triggered by torrential rains last week wrecked bridges and other infrastructure, said local government official Krishna Prasad Acharya.

"The bridge on the river was destroyed by flooding a few days ago... it is a dangerous river to cross on foot and it looks like he either slipped or was swept away by the current," Mr Acharya told AFP.

Police have opened an investigation into his death and are trying to contact his family in the US, he added.

The man, who arrived in Nepal last May, had boarded a bus from Kathmandu bound for the far-western district of Kailali, and had stopped enroute in flood-hit Banke district, according to police.

At least 120 people have lost their lives in multiple landslides and flooding since late last week, with rescuers searching for 133 people still missing, feared dead.

The deaths come just weeks after Nepal's worst landslide in more than a decade smashed into hamlets in the hilly northeast and killed 156 people.

Hundreds die every year in floods and mudslides during the monsoon season in South Asia.