In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, 37 people have died and up to 450,000 people are taking shelter in 100 relief camps, K Rosaiah, the state chief minister, said.

Relief operation

"We are rushing medical teams and equipment to the camps," Rosaiah said.

Air force helicopters dropped food and drinking water packages to hundreds of villages that remained cut off after roads were submerged or washed away.

Army soldiers used boats to ferry villagers stranded on rooftops to government schools or relief camps on higher ground.

Doctors distributed water purifying tablets and provided medical services in the camps, but facilities were poor and crowded.

In places where villagers refused to leave their homes drinking water was supplied by tankers to prevent the outbreak of waterborne diseases, said Prasada Rao, state revenue minister in Andhra Pradesh.

Flooding worsened after authorities released water from rain-swollen reservoirs and dams in both states to prevent them from bursting their banks.