Hyderabad, India Heavy downpours sent rivers over their embankments, killing at least 56 people and forcing the evacuation of thousands in southwest India, officials said Wednesday.
Helicopters plucked people from danger in the worst hit areas of Andhra Pradesh state and delivered thousands of tons of food, medicine and blankets to camps for the displaced. Boats rescued hundreds of others.
The rains flooded railroad tracks and major highways along the coast, marooning hundreds of trucks, buses and cars, said disaster relief official Shashank Goel in Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh.
Relief workers evacuated more than 140,000 residents of low-lying villages to 465 relief camps set up in government buildings and schools located on higher ground, Goel said.
Officials said at least 50 people were killed by rain and strong winds, which flattened homes, knocked down power lines and uprooted trees. Six people were killed when their homes in coastal districts collapsed.
The Godavari and Krishna rivers breached their banks at several places, flooding farms. Floods demolished more than 77,000 homes and damaged another 7,800 homes, Goel said.