Death toll passes 100 after landslides and flooding sparked by India monsoon

Death toll passes 100 after landslides and flooding sparked by India monsoon
National Disaster Response Force personnel rescue people stranded in floodwaters in Kolhapur, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Friday, July 23, 2021. Landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains hit parts of western India, killing at least 32 people and leading to the overnight rescue of more than 1,000 other people trapped by floodwaters, officials said Friday. (AP Photo)

Landslides and flooding triggered by heavy monsoon rain have hit parts of western India, killing more than 100 people, officials and news reports said.

The dead included 54 in four landslides in the Raigad and Ratnagiri districts in western Maharashtra state on Thursday and Friday, according to district collector Nidhi Chaudhary and state government official Sagar Pathak.

More than 1,000 people trapped by floodwaters were rescued, many of them from rooftops and even the tops of buses, Mr Chaudhary said.

Rescuers help an elderly woman in Satara, Maharashtra (National Disaster Response Force/AP)

Mr Pathak said more than 30 people are missing after the landslides.

Mr Chaudhary said the rain had slowed, but water levels were rising again because of a high tide on Friday.

Disasters caused by landslides and flooding are common in India during the June-September monsoon season, when heavy rains weaken the foundations of structures that are often poorly built.

Twenty-seven people were killed by houses collapsing or being swept away by rushing floodwaters in Satara district, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Rescue efforts in Taliye village, Maharashtra (AP)

It also said more than 20 deaths have been reported in the eastern districts of Gondia and Chandrapur.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was anguished by the loss of lives.

“The situation in Maharashtra due to heavy rains is being closely monitored and assistance is being provided to the affected,” he tweeted.

Elsewhere, a house collapsed on Friday after heavy rain in the Shivaji Nagar area in eastern Mumbai, killing at least two people and injuring eight others, fire officials said.

In Ratnagiri district, 200 people were rescued from hilly areas on Thursday after heavy rain.

A boy sells umbrellas in Hyderabad (Mahesh Kumar A/AP)

The army, navy, coastguard and the National Disaster Response Force were helping in rescue operations, the defence ministry said.

An Indian navy statement said it deployed helicopters to evacuate stranded people and sent rescue teams with boats to the region.

Authorities on Friday sounded an alert in the southern state of Telangana, with heavy rain causing flooding in Hyderabad, the state capital, and other low-lying areas.

Meteorologists said the 12in of rain that has fallen so far this month in Hyderabad, one of India’s information technology hubs, is the most in July in 10 years.

The floodgates of one of the main reservoirs, Osman Sagar, were opened for the first time in a decade to discharge excess water.

Last weekend, more than 30 people were killed in landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rain in and around Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital.

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