A swollen tributary of the Ganges River in the capital Friday reached its highest level in 34 years, officials said, as soldiers and volunteers worked to build dams against the rising waters.

At least 64 people died nationwide since Thursday, bringing to 748 the death toll from floods that began with the monsoon rains in June, newspapers reported Friday.The floodwaters swept away children, sank boats and leveled houses, newspapers reported. Scores of people died after being bitten by snakes that had crawled to higher ground, they said.

No deaths were reported in Dhaka, where floodwaters ranged from several inches downtown to 6 feet on the outskirts.

Hundreds of thousands of people left their water-logged houses in Dhaka, many moving in with relatives or into government shelters.

Highways and rail lines remained under water, while drinking water supplies were cut off in 12 outlying districts of Dhaka because the pumps were submerged.

By Friday morning, the Buriganga River was nearly 3 inches above flood stage - its highest level in 34 years, said the Flood Forecast and Warning Center. It predicted the river would rise another 8 inches by nightfall.

Some low-income city residents have started hoarding food, but there were few other signs of panic, officials said.