In Uttarakhand, 46 people died and 11 were missing after floods crossed the Himalayas. In the southern state of Kerala, its chief minister Binarayi Vijayan announced 39 deaths.
Of the Uttarakhand victims, at least 30 were involved in seven separate incidents in Nainital district early on Tuesday morning after landslides and floods caused infrastructure collapse. Five of the victims belonged to the same family and their house was buried by a massive landslide, local leader Pradeep Jain told AFP.
Landslide engulfing houses in the Himalayas
In the northern district of Almora, a landslide of a mud wall with large rocks sank a house, killing five people on board. Six more people died on Monday in two remote districts of the state in the Himalayas.
The Indian Meteorological Department on Tuesday extended its warning, warning of heavy and very heavy rains in the region. The agency said some areas were inundated with more than 400 millimeters of rain per square meter on Monday. Authorities ordered the schools to close and banned all religious and tourism activities in the state.
Heavy rain leaves destruction
In neighboring Nepal, Humkala Pandey, a disaster management official, said “31 people have been killed in floods and landslides caused by heavy rains in the country in the last three days.”
In addition, “43 people are missing,” he added. “It is still raining in many places. We are still collecting data from the ground. The death toll could rise,” he warned.
Landslides are a common danger in the Himalayas, but experts say they are more common due to melting glaciers and increasingly erratic rainfall. Experts attribute these events to the construction of hydroelectric dams and deforestation.
In February, flash floods in the state of Uttarakhand swept through a valley, killing at least 200 people. In the same area, 5,700 people died in 2013.
The country’s Meteorological Department has warned of fresh rains in Kerala after the break on Tuesday. Many reservoirs in that southern state have reached almost dangerous levels and some rivers are overflowing and authorities are evacuating thousands of people to safer places. In 2018, at least 500 people died in the worst floods of a century in this coastal area.
Joe (AFP, Reuters)
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