|The floods in southern India are said to be the worst in 100 years [AFP]
The worst floods to hit southern India in a century have made 2.5 million people homeless and left 250 dead.
At least five million people are crammed in temporary government shelters after heavy rains last week triggered flooding that swamped millions of acres of cropland.
The worst affected states are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Dharmana Prasada Rao, Andhra Pradesh's minister for revenue and relief, said: "These are the worst floods in 100 years."
Relief officials used helicopters and boats to drop off rations and plastic sheets to hundreds of marooned villagers as rainfall eased on Tuesday.
Reporting from Beechpally in Andhra Pradesh, Al Jazeera's Prerna Suri, said on Tuesday: "Rainfall has eased since the past few hours, but the situation remains grim and there's an extremely challenging task ahead of helping the people who have been displaced.
"I've seen firsthand an exodus of people. Thousands have been crammed in makeshift shelters.
"There is an acute lack of food, water and sanitation. Many people describe their experiences of living without electricity for days and how they can begin picking up the pieces of their lives.
"Many victims are asking that better facilities could have been provided by the government."
Hundreds of thousands of other victims have sought shelter in the homes of friends and relatives.
Rescue teams and aid workers now fear the spread of water-borne diseases, while officials are concerned that the corn and sugar crops will be badly damaged.
Officials said damage to roads was making the delivery of relief supplies difficult.
On Monday, rescue workers had used about 300,000 sandbags to fortify weakening embankments of the Krishna river that flows close to Vijayawada, a city of about a million people in Andhra Pradesh and an important trading centre.
More than 50,000 people were trapped by floodwaters near the city, according to The Times of India, with many villages along the bank under 2m of water.
Rescue workers had earlier moved more than 200,000 people living close to the river and an alert was raised in about 100 villages situated along it.
But flood waters have continued to recede on Tuesday after a 48-hour halt in the rain, officials said.
The state governments are now focusing on assessing the damage and ensuring that medical aid reaches the displaced to prevent disease from spreading. Aid workers are also distributing food and clean drinking water in the relief camps.
Officials and relief agencies said flood victims were now sheltered in more than 1,200 temporary camps, while vast areas of agricultural land, including sugarcane and paddy fields, were under water.
Media reports quoted officials as saying that billion of dollars were needed for relief and reconstruction.