17 dead and dozens missing after heavy rains in India’s Andhra Pradesh state

At least 17 people were killed and dozens were reported missing in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh after days of torrential rain, authorities said Saturday.

The state has been hit by severe torrential rain since Thursday, causing flash floods in at least five districts.

Police said the death toll rose to 17 late Friday night, after three people were killed in a building collapse. Ten people trapped under the rubble were rescued, but two are missing.

Earlier on Friday, at least ten people were killed when the bus they were traveling in was swept away by torrential floods. Efforts to search for and rescue the missing passengers continued on Saturday.

Deaths have been reported from various regions over the past few days, with officials warning that the numbers could rise as rescue operations continue. Teams from the National Disaster Relief Force have been deployed to the worst affected and vulnerable areas, local authorities have rescued and hundreds of families have been evacuated to shelter homes.

People wandered a flooded street in Nellore on Saturday. (The Associated Press)

And in Kadaba district, one of the worst-affected, continuous rains and floods forced officials to close the local airport until Thursday. Officials said breaches in dams and tanks caused more flooding, stranding hundreds of villages and stranding many residents in their homes.

It is not unusual for southern India to rain at this time of year, although the country has seen prolonged monsoon rains this year as experts have warned that climate change has exacerbated the problem by making rainfall more intense and frequent.

Last week, floods hit neighboring Tamil Nadu, while at least 28 people died in the southern state of Kerala when torrential rain triggered landslides last month.

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