India monsoon flooding death toll climbs as states declare red alert

Police say emergency services are on a 'war footing' in attempt to find missing people

Children wade through a flooded street in Mumbai, India, July 5, 2022. EPA
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At least 18 people have been killed in three Indian states as floods and landslides triggered by monsoon rains continue to wreak havoc in the country.

Authorities said one person was killed and several others were trapped by a landslide in western Maharashtra state's Palghar district on Wednesday, prompting a frantic search by emergency workers for missing people.

Several districts of the state have endured heavy rains over the past few days. As many as six districts are on red alert, with a warning of extreme rainfall, as much as 20 centimetres in a 24-hour period.

At least nine people, including three children, were killed in the state and nearly 100 people rescued from flooded places on Tuesday.

Of the dead, three were tourists who drowned after their car was washed away while crossing a flooded bridge during heavy rain in Nagpur district.

There were six passengers in the vehicle when it was swept away.

Three of the bodies ere found while police were on a “war footing” searching for the other three missing, state Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.

“Efforts are being made by the administration to search for the missing persons on a war footing and the NDRF is also seeking help,” Mr Fadnavis tweeted.

Several temples were submerged by waters from the Godavari river in Nashik district after incessant rain over the past three days.

As many as 20 locations in state capital Mumbai had received nearly 40mm showers in the space of six hours on Wednesday causing severe water-logging in many areas and disrupted traffic.

The weather office has issued a warning of heavy rainfall in the city in the next 24 hours.

Authorities have sent 13 teams of national and state disaster response forces into vulnerable districts.

More than 75 people have died since the beginning of June when monsoon rains hit the state.

In neighbouring Gujarat, six people were killed in rain-related incidents since Monday after heavy rainfall on the weekend triggered flooding in several districts. More than 27,000 people have been moved from flood-hit areas.

The total killed in rain-related incidents in the state has jumped to 69 since early June, State Disaster Management Minister Rajendra Trivedi said after a review meeting on Tuesday.

In Navsari, houses and trees in low-lying areas were swept away and people were moved to shelter homes on Tuesday.

The India Meteorological Department has predicted heavy rain in 14 districts of the state in the next 24 hours.

Three children were also killed in central Madhya Pradesh after they were struck by lightning on the way home from school.

The children, who were between 10 and16, had taken shelter under a tree when the lightning struck. Five others were critically injured in the incident.

Updated: July 13, 2022, 1:20 PM
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