Thousands evacuated, 23 dead as storm lashes India

from Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
Published on 01 Nov 2006
HYDERABAD, India, Nov 1 (Reuters) - At least 23 people were killed and more than 100,000 evacuated from their homes as heavy rains and strong winds lashed Andhra Pradesh state in southern India on Wednesday for the third straight day, officials said.

Cyclonic storm Ogni had hovered over the Bay of Bengal for two days before hitting the mainland on Monday, where it flooded towns and villages and cut power supplies leaving thousands of households in darkness.

Most of those killed were workers in paddy and shrimp farms in the southeastern districts of Prakasam and Guntur where some 400 villages and 15 towns were submerged, disaster management officials said.

Some were killed in house collapses or when trees and electric poles fell on them. Others were drowned.

Residents said thousands of people in some waterlogged villages had been forced to take refuge on rooftops.

"We are waiting for food and water packets since last night," C. Subba Rao, one resident, told Reuters by phone.

Weather officials said cyclonic conditions in the region would persist for at least another day.

"Rains and cold winds will continue to lash the coastal districts for another 24 hours," said Sathya Kumar, director of the meteorological centre in the state capital, Hyderabad.

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