Sun | Sep 19, 2021

Landslides, monsoon flooding kill over 100 in India

Published:Friday | July 23, 2021 | 3:33 PM
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 more than 30 people and leading to the overnight rescue of more than 1,000 other people trapped by floodwaters, officials said Friday. (AP Photo)

NEW DELHI (AP) — Landslides and flooding triggered by heavy monsoon rain hit parts of western India, killing more than 100 people, officials and news reports said Friday.

More than 1,000 people trapped by floodwaters were rescued.

The dead included 54 killed 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.

Many of those who were rescued were stranded on rooftops and even on top of buses on highways, Chaudhary said.

Pathak said more than 30 people were missing after the landslides.

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

Rescuers, however, have reached the worst-hit areas.

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.

It also said more than 20 deaths have been reported from 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,” Modi tweeted.

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

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

In the coastal town of Chiplun, home to 70,000 people, more than half the area was flooded, said B.N. Patil, district administrator of Ratnagiri.

The army, navy, coast guard and the National Disaster Response Force were helping in rescue operations, the defense ministry said.

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

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