#AceWeatherReport – July.24: Unexpected very heavy rainfall triggered landslides in many places and flooded rivers,” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who heads Maharashtra’s state government, told journalists…
#AceWeatherDesk says Monsoon rains trigger landslides and floods in India’s Maharashtra state, leaving at least 67 dead as parts of India’s west coast received up to 594 millimetres of rain over 24 hours, forcing authorities to evacuate people from vulnerable areas as they released water from dams that were threatening to overflow.
“Dams and rivers are overflowing. We are forced to release water from dams, and, accordingly, we are moving people residing near the riverbanks to safer places.”
The navy and army were helping with rescue operation in coastal areas, he added.
At least 38 people were killed in Taliye, 180km south-east of the financial capital Mumbai, when a landslide flattened most of the small village, Vijay Wadettiwar, a minister in the state government, said.
In nine other landslides in other parts of Maharashtra, 59 people died and another 15 were killed in accidents linked to the heavy rainfall, they said.
Several dozen people were also feared to have been trapped in landslides in the Satara and Raigad districts, said a state government official who asked not to be named.
“Rescue operations are going on at various places in Satara, Raigad and Ratnagiri. Due to heavy rainfall and flooded rivers, we are struggling to move rescue machinery quickly,” he said.
Thousands of trucks were stuck on a national highway linking Mumbai with the southern technology hub of Bengaluru, with the road submerged in some places, another Maharashtra government official said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of villages and towns were without electricity and drinking water, he said.
Rivers were also overflowing in the neighbouring southern states of Karnataka and Telangana where authorities were monitoring the situation, government officials there said.
Seasonal monsoon rains from June to September cause deaths and mass displacement across South Asia every year, but they also deliver more than 70 per cent of India’s rainfall and are crucial for farmers.
The rains overwhelmed hundreds of villages, sweeping away houses and leaving residents stranded.
Rescue crews have been racing to evacuate survivors but many people are feared missing.
The Indian military has been helping the efforts, which have been hampered by difficult conditions.
The state has recorded its heaviest spell of July rain for decades.
Many factors contribute to flooding, but experts say climate change caused by global warming makes extreme rainfall more likely.
On Friday Indian officials said most of the deaths had been caused by landslides and flooding in two districts.
A landslide flattened the small village of Taliye, south-east of India’s financial capital Mumbai. An official told Reuters news agency at least 42 people had died there.
The state’s chief minister, Udhav Thackeray, plans to visit Taliye on Saturday.
Mr Thackeray called an emergency meeting on Friday and asked officials to provide aid to those affected.
He said authorities were evacuating people from vulnerable areas as they released water from dams that were threatening to overflow.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “anguished by the loss of lives” and would provide assistance to the affected.
The Indian navy and disaster authorities have been sent to help rescue operations in coastal areas.
One coastal district has been completely cut off after bridges and mobile towers in the area collapsed.
Authorities have asked stranded residents to go to rooftops so rescuers in helicopters can spot them.
In Mumbai, two people died and 10 others were injured after a residential building collapsed on Friday.
Train services have been suspended and the city’s low-lying areas have turned into flood zones.
Weather experts say heavy rains will continue to lash the city over the next few days.
Heavy rains in Mumbai are not uncommon. The city experiences flooding every year during the monsoon season, but the intensity of the rains has increased in recent times.
Thousands of people migrate to the city every day in search of jobs.
This fuels rapid – and often unregulated – construction, forcing many to live in poor quality buildings.
#AceWeatherDesk report …Published: July.24: 2021:
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