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Rain, floods kill 45 in India

New Delhi, June 24, 2007

Heavy rain and floods have killed at least 45 people in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Officials say up to 56,000 people have been displaced and moved to relief camps. Most people were killed when flash floods destroyed their homes.

The strong winds and rain have caused widespread damage, toppling electricity pylons and communication towers.

The annual monsoon set over southern India earlier this month and more rain is expected in the region.

The dead included 15 people swept away by a flash flood in Kurnool, 225km south-west of the state capital, Hyderabad.

Coast guards were looking for missing fishermen, who went to sea despite weather warnings, officials said.

Aid officials were distributing food, fresh water and medicine to people, some stranded on the roofs of houses and buses or up trees.

'I spent the night on my rooftop along with my family after flood water gushed into my house,' Musari Venkateswarlu, a school teacher in Guntur's Macherla town, is quoted as telling Reuters news agency.

Many of the roads are under water and the relief is being dropped from the air.

'We have opened up 95 relief camps... for 56,000 displaced people and also brought in 200 medical teams to contain the spread of water-related diseases,' said Preeti Sudan, disaster management commissioner for Andhra Pradesh.




Tags: India | Andhra Pradesh | monsoon | Hyderabad |

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