Fresh floods have killed at least 18 people in the same part of eastern India that this month saw the worst cyclone to hit the country in more than a decade, officials said on Saturday.
Torrential rains made rivers spill their banks in India’s eastern coastal states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, forcing thousands to flee their homes and seek refuge in shelters, two weeks after India’s most severe cyclone in 14 years lashed the coastline.
“The latest that we know is that 18 have died in total,” in both states, Tripti Parule, spokeswoman for the National Disaster Management Agency, told AFP.
Local media reported at least 30 dead from the floods, which have also disrupted train services in both states.
Some 30 rescue teams, already involved in massive state-wide relief operations to fix homes and restore services knocked out by cyclone Phailin, have been deployed in the flood zone to give assistance, she said.
“The administration was already geared up for this situation after cyclone Phailin. The provision of dry food, water packets, medicines… all of it is being taken care of by the states,” said Parule, adding she hoped the flooding would subside in 48 hours.
The cyclone that struck India’s eastern coast earlier this month killed at least 22 people and left a trail of destruction.
It pounded the eastern states, bringing winds of more than 200 kilometres an hour (125 miles per hour), uprooting trees, overturning trucks, snapping power lines and flooding large tracts of farmland.