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August 20, 2019
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India floods and landslides kill over 270, displace one million

MEPPADI: Volunteers, local residents, fire force officials and members of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) search for survivors following landslides at Puthumala village in Kerala’s Wayanad district yesterday. – AFP

and landslides have killed more than 270 people in India this month, displaced
one million and inundated thousands of homes across six states, authorities
said on Wednesday after two weeks of heavy monsoon rains. The rains from June
to September are a lifeline for rural India, delivering some 70% of the
country’s rainfall, but they also cause death and destruction each year.

The southern
states of Kerala and Karnataka, and Maharashtra and Gujarat in the west, were
among the hardest hit by floods that washed away thousands of hectares of
summer-sown crops and damaged roads and rail lines. At least 95 people were
killed and more than 50 are missing in Kerala, where heavy rainfall triggered
dozens of landslides last week and trapped more than 100 people.

About 190,000
people are still living in relief camps in the state, said Chief Minister
Pinarayi Vijayan, but he added some people are returning home as flood waters
recede. In neighboring Karnataka, home to the technology hub Bengaluru, 54
people died and 15 are missing after rivers burst their banks when authorities
released water from dams. Nearly 700,000 people have been evacuated in the
state. Heavy rainfall is expected in parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and
Gujarat, as well as the central state of Madhya Pradesh, in the next two days,
weather officials said.

In Maharashtra,
which includes the financial capital Mumbai, 48 people died but flood waters
are receding, said a state official. “We are now trying to restore
electricity and drinking water supplies,” he said. In Madhya Pradesh, the
biggest producer of soybeans, heavy rains killed 32 people and damaged crops,
authorities said. In Gujarat, 31 people died in rain-related incidents, while
landslides killed nearly a dozen people in the northern hilly state of
Uttarakhand. – Reuters

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