HYDERABAD, India – In the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, at least 17 people have died after days of heavy rainfall and dozen are reported missing, authorities said on Saturday.
The state has been hit by violent torrents since Thursday, which have caused massive flooding in at least five districts.
The death toll rose to 17 late Friday night after three people were killed in a building collapse, police said. Ten people trapped under the rubble were rescued, two are still missing.
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At least a dozen people died early Friday when severe flooding washed away the bus they were sitting on. Search and rescue operations for missing passengers continued on Saturday.
Deaths have been reported from various counties in the past few days, with officials warning the numbers could rise as the bailouts come.
National Disaster Relief Force teams have been deployed to the hardest hit and vulnerable areas, and local authorities have rescued hundreds of families and evacuated them to shelters.
In the Kadapa district, one of the hardest hit incessant rainfall and flooding forced officials to close the local airport until Thursday. Officials said breaks in dams and tanks had caused further flooding, hundreds of villages were stranded, and many residents were stuck in their homes.
Rains in southern India are not uncommon at this time, although the country has seen a lingering monsoons this year, with experts warning that climate change has exacerbated the problem, with downpours becoming more intense and frequent.
Last week, the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu was hit by floods, while in the southern state of Kerala at least 28 people died when heavy rains triggered landslides last month.