The death toll from floods and landslides caused by the monsoon this Sunday has risen to 127 India And dozens are missing.
The west coast of the country has been inundated by heavy rains since Thursday and more rains are expected in the coming days, according to the Indian Meteorological Service.
Floods and landslides occur frequently during the monsoon season in India, with poorly constructed buildings often collapsing after uninterrupted rains.
In recent years, as a result of global warming, extreme weather events have increased.
In Maharashtra, 117 people, including more than 40, were killed in a landslide on Thursday in the town of Taliye, south of Mumbai.
Jayaram Mahaske told AFP that “many people were dragged away when they tried to flee” during the landslide. They include some of his relatives.
Another local, Govind Malusare, said his son-in-law’s body had been found, but his mother, brother, brother-in-law and daughter-in-law were still missing after a landslide family home collapsed.
Within minutes he had demolished dozens of homes. Residents told AFP that it was only two concrete structures that stood and the electricity was cut off.
The National Disaster Response Force found four bodies overnight in the village of Posare, 210 km south of Bombay.
In some parts of Chiplun, water levels rose to nearly twenty feet on Thursday after 24 hours of incessant rain that flooded roads and homes.
Eight patients at a local hospital treating COVID-19 cases were cut off from power to their breathing apparatus by the flood.
“The water level reached the roof of my tent and there was a lot of water inside,” a trader told NDTV, an Indian network. “All the shops in this area were completely destroyed.”
Lifeguards, with the help of archaeologists, are searching for up to 100 missing people in the state.
– An achievement-
In neighboring Goa, a woman drowned and the local government reported to the Press Trust of India, in which Chief Minister (Chief Minister) Pramod Sawant said it was “the worst flood since 1982”.
Ajit Roy, an officer from North Goa, told AFP that the floods had receded and that some of those evacuated had returned to their homes.
In coastal plains, including Maharashtra and Goa, water levels are high due to overflowing rivers.
Frightened people climbed on the roofs of houses and on the highest floors to escape the flood.
And in the southern state of Karnataka, the death toll has risen to nine overnight, officials said.
Electricity was cut off in 11 affected districts and crop damage was reported, officials said.
Roxy Matthew Cole, a scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, says climate change is warming the Arabian Sea.
Higher water temperatures cause the air to heat up and retain more moisture, causing extreme rainfall events, he said.
“We are seeing a threefold increase in widespread heavy rainfall events … since the 1950s,” Cole told AFP, citing a study he co-authored and published in Nature.
At a station on a hill south of Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar received 594 mm of rain on Friday, the highest ever.
“In recent years, the impact of climate change (monsoon in India) has been very clear. In fact, what happened in Europe, China and other parts of the world is similar to what is happening in India.
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