Rain causes floods and landslides, killing at least 112 people in India


After heavy rains from the Mumbai-monsoon caused landslides, flooding the lowlands and blocking hundreds of villages, officials said on Friday that at least 112 people had died in Maharashtra, western India.

Authorities needed to evacuate people from vulnerable areas, with up to 23 inches (594 mm) of rainfall in 24 hours on parts of India’s west coast, releasing water from dams that could overflow.

“Unexpected heavy rains have caused landslides in many places and flooded rivers,” Uddhav Thackeley, the head of the Maharashtra government, told journalists.

“The dams and rivers are overflowing. We are forced to drain water from the dams, moving people near the riverbanks to safer places.”

He added that the Navy and Army were supporting rescue operations in coastal areas.

At least 38 people were killed when a landslide flattened most of a small village in Talier, about 110 miles (180 km) southeast of the financial capital Mumbai, according to state officials.

Nine other landslides in other parts of Maharashtra killed 59 people and another 15 in heavy rain-related accidents, they said.

On July 18, 2021, rescue teams seek survivors after the walls collapsed in several houses in a monsoon-heavy slum in the Mahul region of Mumbai, India. (Rajanish Kakade / AP Photo)
Indian flood
An employee of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of India rescues people involved in floods in Chiplun, Maharashtra, western India on July 23, 2021. (National Disaster Response Force via AP)

Dozens were afraid of being involved in landslides in the Satara and Rigad districts, state officials who asked not to name them, said state officials.

“Rescue operations are taking place in different parts of Satara, Reigad and Ratnagiri. Due to heavy rains and flooded rivers, we are having a hard time moving rescue machines quickly,” he said. ..

Thousands of trucks stopped on the national highway connecting Mumbai and the technology hub in southern Bangalore, and the road was submerged, according to another Maharashtra state official.

During that time, hundreds of villages and towns had no electricity or drinking water, he said.

Government officials said the rivers were also flooding in neighboring southern Karnataka and Telangana, where authorities were monitoring the situation.

Seasonal monsoon rains from June to September cause deaths and massive migration throughout South Asia each year, but they bring over 70% of India’s rainfall and are of great importance to farmers.

By Rajendra Jadhav