Landslides, flash floods kill 45: police | india | Hindustan Times
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Landslides, flash floods kill 45: police

india Updated: Nov 10, 2009 21:13 IST

Heavy rain in southern India triggered flash floods and landslides that killed 45 people in the last 24 hours and left about 1,000 tourists stranded, police said on Tuesday.

More than 70 deaths have been recorded across several districts in the state of Tamil Nadu in the last week, where downpours have caused widespread damage to buildings and ruined crops.

Police and fire officials worked to rescue about 1,000 domestic tourists who were trapped after two major roads were cut off in the hillside district of Nilgiris, about 450 kilometres (280 miles) west of the state capital Chennai.

Rescuers used cranes to remove giant boulders from railway tracks in the area, which received up to 61 centimetres (24 inches) of rain over two days, police said.

One village there was destroyed.

"The total number of deaths stands at 75. According to latest reports, 42 people have died in Nilgiris," an officer in the local police control room told AFP, referring to deaths overnight and on Monday.

Another three were killed overnight in more southern districts of Tamil Nadu.

Efforts were underway to help those trapped in debris, and authorities said most deaths were due to walls collapsing, drowning or electrocution.

Schools were closed in several districts and forecasters predicted more rain on Wednesday.