Flood death toll climbs to 164 as heavy rains lash western India
New Delhi, Jul 26 (EFE).- Indian authorities on Monday raised the number of deaths to 164 while around 100 people remain missing as devastating rains and floods have wreaked havoc in the western state of Maharashtra over the past week.
At least 15 of the deaths took place in the last 24 hours, while 100 people have been missing since Thursday in Maharashtra, according to a statement issued by the state government on Monday.
The 164 fatalities between Jul. 22-26 have taken the total number of monsoon-related deaths since Jun. 1 to 251.
Meanwhile, around 194,500 people were affected by massive floods and waterlogging in the city of Kolhapur in southeastern Maharashtra.
The area has been the worst affected by the monsoon rains in July, recorded as the heaviest in nearly a century, which have resulted in floods and landslides, with many localities submerged in water and widespread damage to buildings and roads.
Rescue teams have doubled search and rescue operations in different parts of the country as massive rains have lashed many southwestern states, including Goa and Karnataka.
Although bad weather and loose soil had made rescue operations difficult, the teams have begun to make rapid progress in recent hours as the rains have eased.
The India Meteorological Department on Monday said that rains would now weaken on the western coast, but issued orange and yellow alerts of heavy to very heavy rains in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.
Floods and landslides are common in the monsoon season in India, which lasts from June to September, with hundreds killed every year.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has complicated rescue and evacuation work this year. EFE