Floods triggered by monsoon rains over the past week have killed at least 36 people in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

Hundreds of villages have been submerged in low-lying areas and thousands of hectares of rice damaged in at least eight of the state's 30 districts.

Homes have been inundated and thousands of people have been stranded after rivers breached embankments.

In recent weeks much of India has suffered a bad start to the monsoon, whose uneven progress caused drought in some states and floods elsewhere.

Authorities worry the high waters will persist in the flood-prone Orissa, home to more than 36m people, with more rains expected over the next 48 hours.

The heavy downpour triggered by a low pressure trough over the Bay of Bengal has breached roads and disrupted public transport.