Floods lead to 94 deaths in west India

NEW DELHI, Jul 1, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- West India's Gujarat Pradesh is suffering from heavy rain as the death toll in the flood rose to 94 Friday and nearly 200,000 were evacuated, Indo-Asian News Service said.

"Vadodara, Khada and Anand districts are the worst affected where an average 15 inches of rainfall was received," Indian Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel said in Gandhinagar, "The floods have left 94 people dead while more than 200,000 people have been rescued (since Saturday)."

Three districts in central Gujarat and four in the south were submerged under water while soldiers were sent to shift people from low-lying areas

Apart from the national highway 8 linking major Gujarat city Ahmedabad to India's Industry hub Mumbai, 170 state roads and 929 district roads were damaged, while power supply was affected in 4, 500 villages.

Many neighborhoods at Vadodara of central Gujarat were surrounded by 2 to 3 meters deep rainwater. Supplies of milk and vegetables could not reach many parts and power supply was disrupted.

Rain has also disturbed rail traffic between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and Indian capital Delhi for the fourth day. The railway authority cleared the railway track on a war footing.

In eastern India, meanwhile, heavy monsoon downpours on Thursday led vast areas in the state of Orissa submerged, forcing some 140,000 people to flee their homes and move to higher ground.

The Baitarani River overflowed its banks after two days of rain earlier this week. Residents of 220 villages in Orissa have fled their homes and taken shelter in school and buildings on higher ground.