Karnataka flood death toll rises to 17

By Rina Chandran, Nathaniel Brown and Timothy Pollard

BANGALORE, India — Heavy rain in the southern Indian state of Karnataka caused flash floods that killed 17 people and left as many as 30 missing, officials said on Wednesday.

Five other people died in separate weather-related incidents in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Torrential rain over the last few days, combined with coastal winds, drove rains and landslides, forcing the evacuation of thousands from areas in the Paryavaranpur, Nalgonda and Amberpet districts, according to officials.

The Andhra Pradesh flood control department has warned of “heavy to very heavy rains” in four districts of the state that were badly hit last year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Tuesday he was monitoring the situation closely. “Still trying to assess the damage, but sad to see floods in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

In July 2014, floods in the same state claimed hundreds of lives and displaced more than 700,000 people, with thousands making their way to makeshift camps in neighboring Tamil Nadu state.

Most victims were poor tribespeople who had made their homes in kovils, villages where their ancestors had settled for centuries, officials said.

Government subsidies for welfare projects and cheap cooking gas cylinders were credited with helping mitigate the damage to infrastructure.

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