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10 dead as heavy rain hits south India

NEW DELHI – At least 10 people were killed in floods after intense rainfall in southern India, local media reported on Dec 20, weeks after a cyclone triggered intense flooding in the same areas.

Hundreds were stranded in the state of Tamil Nadu as water submerged roads, with the air force dropping 10 tonnes of emergency supplies. Footage from news agency Press Trust of India showed entire neighbourhoods underwater, with rescue teams using boats.

Tamil Nadu’s Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena said at least 12,600 people were forced to flee to safer areas, The Indian Express newspaper reported.

The situation was grim in districts including Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli, the state governor’s office posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said historically high rainfall had severely impacted the livelihoods of many and caused extensive damage to infrastructure.

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The heavy rain came just two weeks after at least eight people were killed by Cyclone Michaung, which hit Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states on Dec 6.

While rains are expected in southern India in December, scientists have warned that storms are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer with climate change. AFP

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