First modification: 07/23/2021 – 23:49
The torrential rains are part of the period known as the monsoon, which takes place between June and September each year, although experts warn that climate change is drastically modifying known patterns. Authorities are rushing to the rescue of hundreds of people in various regions of the West Coast.
Between rescue or death, this is how hundreds of people spend their hours in western India. The constant rains add a new and well-known tragedy during the last monsoon season, leaving 112 people dead so far, almost half of them after a landslide in the state of Maharashtra.
Local reports estimate that more than 1,000 people have been rescued after being trapped in their towns by the floods and an estimated 80 are missing. In the southern states of Karnataka and Telangana, rivers have overflowed and on the west coast of India, rains have left 5.94 cm or about 23 inches of rain for 24 hours, causing the abnegation of homes and leaving entire villages cut off.
“Between 80 and 85 people are missing. Many are still trapped under the rubble. The national disaster response force, local agencies and others are carrying out rescue operations,” said Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde, Minister of Urban Development of Maharashtra.
According to the authorities, many of those rescued stayed for hours on the roofs of cars and houses waiting for rescue helicopters. Authorities resorted to releasing water from dams under threat of overflows. “The situation in Maharashtra due to heavy rains is being closely monitored and assistance is being provided to those affected,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
Nidhi Chaudhary, a public official, said that despite the decrease in rainfall, the water levels were rising due to the high tide. The Press Trust of India news agency reported the death of 27 people due to the collapse of their homes in the Satara district and another 20 died in Gondia and Chandrapur.
Rescue reports come from Ratnagiri, where authorities evacuated 200 people from the upper reaches of the mountains. Although in the coastal area of Chiplun, where about 70,000 people live, half the city was flooded and the rescues begin with the support of the army, the navy and the coast guard.
“Due to landslides in Talai village in Raigad (district), about 35 people have died. Rescue operations are underway in many places,” said Uddhav Thackeray, head of the Western state government. , while acknowledging that the damage to the roads has limited rescue efforts. “I have ordered the evacuation and relocation of people living in areas where there is the possibility of new landslides,” he added.
Authorities issued alerts for the southern state of Telangana, where floods are already reported in the capital Hyderabad, known to be a technology hub. Meteorologists reported that about a foot of water has fallen there in the past few hours, the most in ten years.
The road connection between Goa and the north of Karnataka was interrupted on Friday, as well as traffic on the Mumbai-Bengaluru national highway, after the flooding of a section of the road in the district of Kolhapur. Last week rains and landslides killed 30 people in Mumbai, the country’s financial capital.
The monsoon, an annual tragedy that intensifies with climate change
These rains are known as the monsoon or monsoon season and are traditional seasonal rains between June and September each year. During this season, the rains regularly cause deaths or movements to South Asia.
During this period, 70% of rainfall is generated in India and is important for agricultural activities, although experts warn that patterns have changed dramatically in the region due to climate change.
Roxy Mathew Koll, a scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, said that “the frequency and intensity of heavy rains has increased” and that the warming of the Arabian Sea would be causing more cyclones in short periods of time. The scientist invited the authorities and citizens of the west coast of India to be prepared.
With EFE, AP and Reuters