At least 149 people have died in just one state in India after monsoon rains triggered floods and landslides across the west coast. Relief efforts continue to be hampered by torrential rains.
In a tweet on Monday, the office of Maharashtra’s chief minister said that Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray was unable to visit flood-afflicted areas due to poor visibility, forcing his helicopter to turn around and return to Pune, the city from where he departed.
Despite the chief minister’s own struggle, he encouraged rescue workers to push on and ensure that they reach affected areas, notably Satara District, with the required aid.
“Rescue work should be carried out carefully, flood victims should be provided immediate food, clothing and medicine,” his office said in a tweet, adding that the waters are yet to subside in the area.
A government statement said that 149 people had died in the western state of Maharashtra due to landslides and other monsoon-linked incidents, including 37 deaths recorded on Sunday. It said that 64 were still missing.
“We are trying hard to rescue people trapped under landslide debris in Raigad and Satara but the possibility of evacuating them alive is remote,” said a senior official with the state government, noting that some people had been trapped under the “mud” for three days. Both Raigad and Satara sit south of the country’s financial capital, Mumbai.
Maharashtra: @NDRFHQ team is undertaking search operations for missing people from Khed, landslide site. pic.twitter.com/onuG4rQgaM
On Monday morning, news agency ANI reported that rescue operations at landslide-hit Taliye village in Maharashtra’s Raigad had been called off. All 31 missing would be declared dead.
Other west coast states, Goa and Karnataka, as well as Telangana in India’s center, have been hit by some of the heaviest monsoon rains experienced in years. Authorities are attempting to move 230,000 people to safer locations while undertaking painstaking rescue operations to recover people from landslides and floods.
Tens of people have died in Karnataka and Telangana due to flooding, although authorities have reported that the water levels of the Krishna and Godavari rivers are receding.
Hundreds of houses have been damaged in the popular seaside destination of Goa on India’s west coast. The state’s chief minister Pramod Sawant said it was experiencing the worst floods in nearly four decades.
On Sunday, nine tourists died in the Himalayas as a giant landslide crashed down the Sangla Valley. Authorities had already advised people against travel for tourism during the rainy season.
Massive landslide around Batseri (Sangla valley) Kinnaur Very close to our village Rakcham As of now 8 tourists died and 3 rescued 🙏🏻Fragile Himalayas pic.twitter.com/yZzafVzDGi
A horrifying video shows the sheer force of the rockfall, with one landing on a bridge, causing it to break in two.
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