Monsoon rains kill dozens in India
At least 50 people have perished, with some crushed inside their homes
Floods and landslides have killed at least 50 people since Friday in the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Odisha. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and rescue operations are ongoing to find those missing.
Heavy rains lasting throughout the weekend in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh triggered landslides and flash flooding, leaving at least 36 people dead, a state government official told Reuters. Some of these deaths were caused by homes collapsing with residents inside, CNN reported.
In neighboring Uttarakhand, a government statement on Sunday said that four people were dead and 13 missing. Emergency workers are reportedly using helicopters to rescue people trapped in remote areas.
In the coastal state of Odisha, meanwhile, flooding killed six people. Among the dead were two children who were crushed beneath a collapsing wall, The Hindu reported. Authorities in the state decided on Monday to evacuate 120,000 people from low-lying areas, which are at increased risk due to the numerous rivers that flow through the state and into the Bay of Bengal.
These rivers are already perilously close to bursting their banks due to the volume of rainwater flowing down from the state of Jharkhand to the north. Authorities in Jharkhand said that five people were swept away by the swollen Nalkari river on Saturday, with four bodies recovered so far.
While torrential monsoon rains are not uncommon in these regions of India, government weather forecasts had earlier predicted an average level of rainfall throughout August and September. Although no severe weather warnings remained in effect in these states as of Monday night, thunderstorms are predicted to resume later in the week.