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Last Updated: Friday, 1 July, 2005, 08:29 GMT 09:29 UK
Gujarat monsoon floods kill many
Gujarat floods
Rail services have been affected by the flooding
Heavy monsoon floods in India's western Gujarat state have left at least 56 people dead and more than 65,000 people homeless, authorities there say.

The army has been deployed to assist rescue and relief operations. Schools and colleges have been closed in some parts of the state.

Floods are common during monsoon rains which have now spread across India.

Weather officials say heavy rain is expected to continue to affect the state over the next few days.

The BBC correspondent says that floods in Gujarat have badly hit rail and road transport in many parts of the state.

Stranded

"Some cities have been put on red alert and the army is helping disaster management teams in rescue operation," state revenue minister Kaushik Patel told Reuters.

Heavy rains have also lashed eastern India and flooded parts of Orissa state sending several thousand people to flee their homes and move to higher grounds, reports said.

Kaziranga national park
Water levels have risen at the Kaziranga national park
Water levels have also risen in the Kaziranga national park, home to the one-horned rhino, after incessant rains in the north-eastern state of Assam.

Thousands of people were left stranded after the level of the Sutlej river rose in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.

They include several hundred tourists who are being rescued by helicopter.

The rise in water levels of the Sutlej river also led to the closure of India's biggest hydropower project - the Nathpa Jhakri Power Project - built on the river, affecting power supply across northern India and the capital, Delhi.

The Nathpa project houses Asia's largest underground power complex and only came into operation last May.

It is not yet clear what caused the water level to rise but officials said it could be due to flooding in Parechu lake in neighbouring Tibet, which has affected the Sutlej further downstream.

The overflowing river destroyed villages, farmland and roads with the damage estimated at eight billion rupees ($183.7m).

In 2000 floods on the Sutlej killed about 150 people in Himachal Pradesh.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See pictures of a train stranded in the flood waters




SEE ALSO:
Flood shuts India power project
28 Jun 05 |  South Asia
UN to launch Bangladesh appeal
28 Jul 04 |  South Asia
Indian villagers tame floods
28 May 04 |  South Asia
India's river plans spark furore
19 Aug 03 |  South Asia


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