6 Oct 2009

Two million homeless after floods in India

7:00 am on 6 October 2009

Officials in India say that as many as two million people have been made homeless and more than 230 have died in the floods in the south of the country.

The BBC reports the floods are described as the worst in more a century.

More than 350 villages are still marooned after five days of heavy rain in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states. Many farms have been destroyed.

The rains came late this year. Only last week the government said India was in the worst drought in 40 years.

Air force aircraft are being used to drop relief materials to hundreds of thousands of villagers stranded by rising flood waters. Soldiers have also been trying to reach them in boats.

The rains are blamed by weather experts on a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. But correspondents say the floods were worsened after water had to be released from dams and reservoirs to prevent them from bursting their banks.