Flooding forces thousands to flee their homes in Indian state of Gujarat


Indian mourners carry a body during a funeral procession as they wade through a flooded street in Vadodara, some 110 kms from Ahmedabad on September 24, 2013 .



Tens of thousands of people are fleeing their homes  after massive flooding swept into villages in the Western Indian state of Gujarat. 

Heavy rainfall this week has caused rivers to overflow and seep into residential areas in cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Bharuch and Vadodara.

Nearly 14,000 people were evacuated from villages in and around Bharuch while thousands of others elsewhere in the state of Gujarat took shelter at rescue centers.

India Today estimates that more than 40,000 people have been evacuated and shifted in the state since the flooding began over the weekend.

Officials say at least three people have died in flood-related accidents.

One man was electrocuted in the city of Ahmedabad, where flooding forced people to wade through thigh-deep water on the streets, Chief Fire Officer M.F. Dastoor told The Associated Press.

In the district of Bharuch, two people were killed in flood-related incidents, said district official Avantika Singh.

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The flooding has washed out roads, stranded buses and closed railway lines across the region. Schools remained closed on Wednesday.

Animal activists also pointed out another side effect of the flooding - stranded crocodiles. Activists in the city of Vadodara said at least four crocodiles were recovered from roads and courtyards.

The Times of India reports disease specialists are concerned about the extended rainfall causing more cases of dengue virus, malaria and chikungunya.

Experts fear the rain could cause numbers of mosquito-related illnesses to continue rising into December, when they should be starting to fall.