People use a rope bridge to cross floodwaters on 26 October 2013 in Ganjam district in eastern India. Photo: Reuters

NEW DELHI, 26 October 2013 (AP) – Days of torrential rains have unleashed floods in southeast India that have killed dozens of people and forced the evacuation of more than 70,000 others from hundreds of low-lying villages.

As of Saturday, there were 39 flood-related deaths in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa States since the rains began Monday, according to officials quoted by the Press Trust of India. Many drowned when they were swept away by surging waters or were killed when weakened walls collapsed onto them.

Hundreds of villages were inundated and crops were being ruined in what is called the Rice Bowl of India. Railway service has been suspended along routes where tracks are submerged or damaged.

Residents of India’s high-tech hub of Hyderabad were wading through knee-deep water surging through the streets.

The local Disaster Management Department said evacuees had found shelter in 178 camps, while relief workers in boats and helicopters were working to help or rescue hundreds of thousands stranded by floods that have swamped both coastal and inland regions along rivers.

Both Andhra Pradesh and Orissa were hit two weeks ago by a powerful cyclone that prompted authorities to evacuate nearly a million people. The storm destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, many of them simple huts made of mud, wood and thatch, while causing hundreds of millions of dollars in crop damage.

India’s Meteorological Department on Saturday forecast the rains to continue for at least another day.

Dozens Killed in Southeast India Floods


Indian police officials pull a boat through water-logged streets as they ferry residents to a safer place in Kolkata on 26 October 2013. Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP / Getty Images

Hyderabad, 26 October 2013 (PTI) – Incessant rains and floods have claimed as many as 45 lives in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, with hundreds of villages submerged in nearly 30 districts and road and rail links disrupted in the region.

Three persons were also killed in heavy rains in south Bengal with normal life thrown out of gear in Kolkata and adjacent districts.

The rain and flood-battered Andhra Pradesh, where 29 people have been killed in the last four days, is unlikely to get respite anytime soon as the Met department has forecast heavy downpour in the next 48 hours in the state as also in many Odisha districts and south Bengal.

At least 16 people have died in flood-related incidents in Odisha, where the situation remained grim despite major rivers receding.

As many as 3,230 villages in 16 districts of Andhra Prdesh were badly affected due to torrential rains and 6,600 houses damaged, Disaster Management Commissioner T Radha said.

He said 405 minor irrigation tanks and 935 km road stretch had been damaged while breaches occurred in canals in different districts inundating settlements and crops.

More than 72,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in nine districts Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshmi Narayana said crops in 6.77 lakh hectares of land had been damaged.

The Government has set up 178 relief camps in the nine districts, including 36 in Srikakulam. […]

A flood alert has been sounded due to rising water level in river Krishna. […]

In worst-hit Ganjam district, the death toll remained at six and was four in Jagatsinghpur.

"All the deaths were due to wall collapse and drowning," Mohapatra said. [more]

Rains and floods ravage Andhra Pradesh, Odisha; 48 dead


People wade through a flood-damaged road on the outskirts of Hyderabad on 26 October 2013. Photo: Mahesh Kumar A / AP

By Neha Sharma
26 October 2013

(CNN) – Flash floods swept Saturday through the eastern Indian states of Odisha, where at least 19 people were killed, and Andhra Pradesh, where another 21 were killed, CNN-IBN reported.

"The flood water entered our village suddenly," one rescued villager told Reuters. "We tried to save our belongings but could not. At last we ran away to a safe place. Now the problem is we don't have food to eat and are staying under open sky."

But a local Puri government official, Madhusudhan Das, said help was under way.

"We have arranged for dry fruits and have also taken efforts for evacuation," he said. "We have arranged free kitchen for them. Tickets will be provided to them. We will give them house damage assistance. Houses have been damaged on a large scale. We are trying our level best to finish the huge amount of work within a week and we'll also provide them assistance for house damage."

In all, 13 districts in Odisha were affected, P.K. Mohapatra, special relief commissioner, said in a telephone interview.

Most affected was the Ganjam District, where 85,000 people were evacuated, he said.

"The situation is very grim as the entire Delta area is completely inundated," Guntur district Collector S Suresh Kumar told CNN's sister network. "Drains and tanks are overflowing and there is a threat of breaches occurring at some places because of the nonstop rain." [more]

Floods kill dozens in eastern India

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