Death toll from rains in India nears 200; 25 still missing

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A commuter pushes his scooter across a flooded road on July 19, after heavy monsoon rains. More than 100 people are dead and scores are missing after landslides, floods, house collapses and other incidents brought on by monsoon rains in western India, officials said on Sunday. Photo: Manvender Vashist/PTI/dpa
A commuter pushes his scooter across a flooded road on July 19, after heavy monsoon rains. More than 100 people are dead and scores are missing after landslides, floods, house collapses and other incidents brought on by monsoon rains in western India, officials said on Sunday. Photo: Manvender Vashist/PTI/dpa

The death toll from rain-related accidents in western India rose to 192 on Monday, as bodies were recovered, but with 25 people still missing, officials said.

More than 375,000 people had been evacuated from the flood-affected areas in Maharashtra. The state experienced its worst spell of monsoon in 40 years in July.

Raigad district was the worst-hit, with 95 deaths, while Satara and Ratnagiri districts saw 45 and 21 deaths respectively, the state government said in a statement.

The deaths were brought on by landslides, floods, and incidents of walls collapsing after torrential rains lashed the region starting on Thursday.

The remaining casualties were reported from Thane, Kolhapur, Sindhudurg, Pune, Wardha, Akola and Mumbai.

There were also 99 people injured in rain-related incidents, while 25 people were still missing, it said.

Torrential rains have destroyed bridges, buildings and roads in the region. Local news channels showed footage of residents stranded on rooftops of buildings as floodwaters inundated the lower floors.

Tens of thousands were left without power and potable water as many villages were marooned.

Landslides and floods are common during India’s monsoon season, which runs from June to October.

The rains are vital for agriculture, but often cause immense destruction to property and crops, leading to the loss of hundreds of lives.

Some climate scientists say there is a growing frequency of extreme climatic events, including floods, cyclones and droughts owing to global warming.

Heavy rains and floods also hit Europe and China in recent weeks, while North America has seen intense heat waves.

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