NEW DELHI, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from flash flood in eastern India has risen to over 60 by Friday as the authorities are running against time to rescue hundreds of thousands marooned by water.
Over 47 people have been killed in the state Orissa and 17 killed in neighboring Andhra Pradesh after heavy rains caused by low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal and northeast monsoon battered the two states for five days on end, said officials.
The number of people affected by the flash flood is estimated at more than 10 million.
Hundreds of villages and huge amount of crops were also damaged and destroyed by the rains, inflicting tremendous losses to local farmers.
Thousands of people have been made rendered homeless after their homes were destroyed and washed away by flood.
Indian Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surya Narayan Patro said several rivers were overflowing in Ganjam district.
More than 200,00 people have been marooned by water in Orissa alone and Indian army is airlifting them to safer places. So far more than 50,000 people have been rescued.
"The situation is serious. We are asking people to stay on rooftops. We will rescue them," Special Relief Commissioner P.K. Mohapatra told reporters.
Some railway services in the eastern coastal area of India were also disrupted after flood waters submerged rail tracks in some places.
The rains also cast a shadow over the One-Day International cricket match between India and Australia to be played at Cuttack' s Barabati Stadium in Orissa Saturday and the authorities said it might be cancelled.
In Andhra Pradesh, over 67,000 people were evacuated from low- lying areas and moved to 135 relief camps in seven districts. Some irrigation tanks were also damaged, causing overflowing of water to residential areas and villages.
Nine teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were sent to affected districts for rescue and relief operations, said officials.
Officials said 117 irrigation tanks were damaged, majority of them in Srikakulam where Vamsadhara river is in spate. Road transport between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha came to a halt while several trains were either cancelled or diverted due to submergence of railway tracks.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy reviewed the situation and directed officials to launch rescue and relief operations as quickly as possible.
Meteorological officials said the rain is expected to continue for Saturday.
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