August 4, 2006

Monsoon rains, floods kill 42 in India

HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - Monsoon rains and floods have
killed 42 people in southern and eastern India and displaced
tens of thousands of others, officials said on Friday.

Forty deaths have been reported from the southern state of
Andhra Pradesh since Wednesday while two people were killed in
neighboring Orissa on Friday in flash floods.

The deaths were mostly due to collapsing houses, falling
trees and electrocution after hundreds of electric poles were
knocked down by strong winds.

The airport in the port town of Visakhapatnam in Andhra
Pradesh was closed after the runway was flooded and water
entered the terminal building.

"Nearly 25,500 people have been displaced and 3,600
rendered homeless as landslides and floods have destroyed their
homes," said disaster management official Debabratha Kanta.

Navy boats and helicopters rescued people stranded on the
roofs of their houses while rail and road traffic had been
blocked in several areas by flood waters and landslides.

The rains were expected to continue for another 24 hours,
said M. Satya Kumar at the meteorological center in the Andhra
capital of Hyderabad.

Dozens of people have been killed in other parts of India
including in the western states of Gujarat and Maharashtra
since the annual monsoons started in June.

(Additional reporting by Sanjaya Jena in BHUBANESWAR)