4 Oct 2009

Toll in India floods rises to 172

4:11 pm on 4 October 2009

The death toll from the worst flash floods and heavy rains in decades in southern India has risen to at least 172, and authorities have stepped up rescue efforts.

At least 145 people died in the state of Karnataka and 26 were killed in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh where dams are overflowing.

Officials say the death toll had jumped from 76 to 172 people in 24 hours and warned that number of deaths could rise as they try to reach areas and villages that remain cut off.

Four days of intense rain have submerged villages, destroyed crops and disrupted transport and communication links in parts of the states.