At least 26 dead in flash floods in western India
AHMEDABAD, India - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoFlash floods triggered by torrential monsoon rain have killed at least 26 people in a west Indian state in the past 48 hours, authorities said on July 29.
The rain and high winds have also cut power and communications across the north of Gujarat state, raising concerns that villagers may be stranded.
"Over 2,000 villages of north Gujarat have been affected due to the floods," the duty officer in the state's emergency control room told AFP.
"We have lost contact with most of these villages and there is no information coming in from those areas."
Rescue teams have been deployed to several hard-hit areas, including the district of Banaskantha where eight people have been killed in rain-related incidents including drownings, local official Dilip Rana said.
"Efforts are on to first rescue those stranded in floodwaters," district collector Rana told AFP.
Another four people died in Kutch district after several houses collapsed, while more than 1,000 people there have been relocated to higher ground, reported local official M S Patel.
Six fatalities have also been recorded in the main city of Ahmedabad and eight in other districts, the control room officer said.
The Indian weather bureau forecast that heavy rain will continue to inundate Gujarat for another 48 hours.
Last month, more than 50 people were killed in the coastal state as the annual monsoon swept across the country.
The monsoon is vital for South Asia especially for crop production. India receives nearly 80 percent of its annual rainfall from June to September.