Source AP ©

Monsoon floods death toll rises to 129 in India

Thirty eight more people were killed and thousands had to leave their homes because of torrential rains and flooding in India. The death toll rose to 129 since the beginning of the monsoon season four weeks ago.

Indian media reports put the number of deaths as high as 150, caused by flooding and wild storms that have also battered neighboring Pakistan, where 228 people were killed over the weekend.

Heavy rains swept across southern India's Karnataka state and western Maharashtra state over the weekend, killing 38 people, officials said.

Residents of Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment capital, waded through knee-deep water in some districts. Flights were delayed and train services disrupted on Sunday, officials said.

Thousands of people have fled their homes over the last four days as the monsoon fury submerged 10 villages in Mahboobnagar district in southern Andhra Pradesh state where 38 people have died so far, according to Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the top elected state official.

The worst affected area in Andra Pradesh was Kurnool district, where 21 people have died in heavy flooding in the last four days alone, Reddy told reporters. The other deaths have occurred in Prakasham, Guntur and Krishna districts.

The southern state of Kerala, the first to be hit by monsoon rains in India in the last week of May, has reported 53 deaths in 14 districts so far, K. Muralidharan, a state revenue inspector, said Monday.

Nearly 16,000 people have left their submerged or damaged homes and taken shelter at some 150 relief camps on higher ground in Kerala state, Muralidharan said.

Flood waters have demolished more than 700 homes and partially damaged another 9,500 in Kerala state, Muralidharan said.

The monsoon usually hits the coast of the southwestern province of Kerala by June 1, then heads north to cover the whole of India by the middle of July. It hit Kerala state early this year.

The monsoon season in India generally runs from June to September.

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