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Monsoon floods in eastern India kill three, displace thousands

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:28 GMT
Author: Jatindra Dash
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A woman holds a basket to protect herself from rain in New Delhi, July 13, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
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BHUBANESWAR, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Monsoon rains over the past week have caused floods in eastern India, killing three people and forcing thousands of families from their homes, officials and witnesses said on Tuesday.

Around 10,000 people have been evacuated to cyclone shelters in Odisha state's worst-hit district of Jajpur after a major river burst its banks, flooding 30 villages.

The deluge has also washed away roads, disrupted public transport, and inundated low-lying crop fields.

"About 10 to 15 people were stranded on their rooftops. Efforts are on to move them to safer places," Anil Kumar Samal, Jajpur district’s chief administrator, told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Officials expressed concern the floods could spread to other areas, with more rains expected over the next two days. Rescue and relief teams have been deployed to vulnerable areas.

India experiences monsoon rains from June to September, which are vital for its agriculture. But the rains frequently affect millions of people, destroying crops and homes, and triggering outbreaks of diseases like diarrhoea and dysentery.

(Editing by Nita Bhalla and Megan Rowling: megan.rowling@thomsonreuters.com)

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