Nearly half a million Indians have fled their homes as one of the world's largest rivers, the Brahmaputra, burst its banks in the country's northeast.

The floods have so far drowned seven people and are expected to further rise.
The floods have so far drowned seven people and are expected to further rise. (Reuters Archive)

More than 500,000 people have fled their homes in India's northeastern state of Assam to escape heavy floods triggered by pre-monsoon rains that drowned seven.

Authorities on Wednesday warned that the situation could worsen as further flooding has been forecast for the next two days.

One of the world's largest rivers, the Brahmaputra, which flows into India and neighbouring Bangladesh from Tibet, burst its banks in Assam over the last three days and the downpour continued, inundating more than 1,500 villages.

"More than 500,000 people have been affected, with the flood situation turning critical by the hour," Assam's water resources minister, Pijush Hazarika said, adding that the seven drowned in separate incidents during the last three days.

Soldiers of the Indian army retrieved more than 2,000 people trapped in the district of Hojai in a rescue effort that continues, the state's health minister, Keshab Mahanta, said.

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Water levels in the Brahmaputra are expected to rise further, national authorities said.

"The situation remains extremely grave in the worst-hit Dima Hasao district, with both rail and road links snapped due to flooding and landslides," said Assam's revenue minister, Jogen Mohan, who is overseeing relief efforts there.

Cities elsewhere in India, notably the capital, New Delhi, are broiling in a heatwave.

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Source: Reuters