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46 killed, four million affected in east India floods

Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Bhubaneswar, India (AFP) Sept 24, 2008
Twenty more people were killed, taking to 46 the death toll from floods which have destroyed tens of thousands of homes in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, officials said Wednesday.

The toll rose by 20 since the weekend as the Indian navy deployed men and boats in Orissa, where more than 3.5 million people have been affected by the flooding and 370,000 have had to be evacuated so far, state officials said.

Orissa's revenue secretary Mr G.V.V.Sharma, supervising rescue operations, said the situation was grim in the impoverished coastal state.

"Surging waters from Mahanadi river have inundated 5,722 villages across 18 of Orissa's 30 districts," Sharma said in state capital Bhubaneswar.

"Flood waters have also damaged 127,000 houses so far," he added.

The state government in a letter to the federal authorities however said four million people were affected and that more than 1,000 villages were completely under flood water.

Orissa's mounting death toll pushes up flood-related casualties nationwide to at least 176 since Saturday.

The Indian capital meanwhile faced a threat Wednesday from rising water levels on its Yamuna river, flood control officials said.

The state-run railways either cancelled or suspended services of around a dozen passenger trains as the authorities shut down a major rail bridge across the monsoon-swollen Yamuna, they said.

"At the time of closing down services the water was barely a foot below the bridge," a railway spokesman said.

Scores of farmers' families living on the banks of the river were evacuated last week after rising Yamuna waters inundated their homes and crops.

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India floods, rains kill 173, say officials
Shimla, India (AFP) Sept 21, 2008
The death toll due to heavy rains and flooding over the weekend across India shot up to 173 with the air force rescuing a revered Tibetan spiritual leader, officials said Sunday.







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