India floods, rain kill at least 32
"Our present focus is on evacuation of people. Thousands have been shifted from the villages to shelters," Disaster Management Minister Manmohan Samel told AFP in state capital Bhubaneswar.
"This is one of the worst floods in recent years," Samel told AFP confirming the 16 deaths.
"Over 200,000 marooned people have been evacuated and the operation still continues," he added.
The victims were washed away by swirling waters, state officials said, and the army was on high alert to help out.
Almost half of coastal Orissa has been facing flooding since last weekend but a heavy downpour and water overflowing from brimming dams compounded the situation overnight in the three worst-hit districts, officials said.
Northern India, meanwhile, reeled under torrential rains which killed at least 16 people and toppled trees and houses.
All the deaths occurred in Uttar Pradesh state in the past 48 hours, regional relief commissioner G. K. Tandon said in state capital Lucknow.
"We're still assessing the extent of the damage," he said as rains and high-velocity winds buffeted the city.
Officials said many of the deaths were caused by the collapse of flimsy homes.
Copyright (c) 2008 Agence France-Presse
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 09/20/2008 12:26:18
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