Heavy monsoon rains lashed India's eastern coast today after two cyclones roared through and killed at least 123 people in four days, news agencies reported.
As rain continued to swell rivers and overwhelm urban drainage systems, more than 3,000 families along the coast were left homeless and many towns were under several feet of water, said officials in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state.At least 54 people in Andhra Pradesh died over the weekend, said the officials. The state is 1,250 miles south of New Delhi, the federal capital.
Sixty-nine deaths were reported farther south in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states. Most drowned or died when houses collapsed. About 240 fishermen from Tamil Nadu were reported missing.
In neighboring Bangladesh, cyclone warnings were canceled today but some offshore islands expected storms with winds reaching 35 mph, said Shamsuddin Ahmed of the federal meteorology office in Dhaka.
The monsoons, strong seasonal winds often accompanied by heavy rains, are crucial for irrigating farmlands throughout India, but often cause deadly flooding.
In Bangladesh, about 20,000 people are killed each year by floods, cyclones, tornadoes, heat waves or cold spells. The warm Bay of Bengal is a breeding ground for cyclones.