updated 9/23/2005 2:57:24 PM ET 2005-09-23T18:57:24

Torrential monsoon rains lashed western India on Friday, killing 11 people, as waters began to recede in southern Andhra Pradesh state where floods have killed 74 people, officials and news reports said.

In Andhra Pradesh, health workers distributed food, medicine and drinking water to thousands of people made homeless by the floods.

At least 74 people died during three days of heavy downpours in Andhra Pradesh state, Y.S.R. Reddy, the state's top elected official, said Friday. Many of the deaths occurred when swirling flood waters and heavy downpours uprooted trees and electricity poles and houses collapsed.

In the western state of Gujurat, 11 people have died because of the monsoon rains, while thousands more fled their homes to escape to higher ground, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Other details were not immediately available.

More than 122,000 people were still in relief camps in Andhra Pradesh after torrential rains and a storm in the Bay of Bengal flooded thousands of villages and towns. However, around 28,000 others have returned to their homes after the rains eased and flood waters began to recede, Reddy said.

Officials were taking precautions to stop disease outbreaks in the camps, he said.

"Clean drinking water is being supplied and sufficient medicines have been provided to every relief camp. Medical teams are also at work" at the camps, he said.

Families were being given money, sacks of rice, cooking pots and clothes to help them get through the next few days.

Tens of thousands of hectares (acres) of banana, rice and other crops were destroyed when the flood waters inundated fields along the swollen Krishna and Godavari rivers.

In Vijayawada, the worst-hit city and the state's commercial center, life was slowly returning to normal although at least 35,000 people were still living in camps Friday.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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