DELHI, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- At least 22 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands affected by flash flood in the cyclone-hit eastern Indian states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh due to heavy rains over the past few days, officials said Friday.
The deaths were mostly caused by wall collapses and drownings. Ten people died in Orissa and 12 died in neighboring Andhra Pradesh, officials told the media.
Heavy rain triggered by northeast monsoon and a low pressure area over Bay of Bengal have been pounding Orissa and Andhra Pradesh for the fourth consecutive day on Friday, prompting authorities to evacuate tens of thousands of people from low-lying areas.
Low-lying areas remained under water in a number of towns and villages, particularly in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh, said Press Trust of India.
Hundreds of houses have been damaged and vast areas of land destroyed by rainfall in the two states. TV footage showed some towns were completely submerged in water with people staying helpless in open space and on grounds.
"The situation is very grim as the entire delta area is completely inundated. Drains and tanks are overflowing and there is a threat of breaches occurring at some places because of the nonstop rain," Guntur district collector S. Suresh Kumar told the media.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed them to give top priority to rescue operations including moving people to safer places from flooded areas and promised to help farmers suffering from their losses.
The two states were also subject to a powerful cyclone two weeks ago, which killed over 30.
In Orissa, also known as Odisha authorities said the state is now faced with flash flood from the heavy rains as more than 130 villages in the state are being submerged by water, affecting more than 700,000 people.
The whole district of Ganjam of the state, worst hit by the cyclone, was completely flooded.
Three army helicopters are rescuing villagers from the water. More than 50,000 have been evacuated to safe places.
Schools and colleges will remain closed until Monday as meteorological department predict more rains in the next 24 hours.