At least 41 people have died in northern India, due to floods and landslides triggered by days of torrential rain, according to a new report announced by authorities on Tuesday.
The Indian Meteorological Services also extended its alert status on Tuesday and forecast “heavy” to “extremely heavy” rain in the region over the next two days. In some places, more than 400 mm of water fell on Monday.
Authorities in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand announced that landslides had killed 35 people, and had already killed six people the day before.
At least 30 of them were killed early Tuesday morning in seven separate accidents in the hardest-hit Nainital district after a series of landslides and infrastructure collapses caused by torrential rains.
“Twenty people have been killed and many are missing,” Ashok Kumar Joshi, an official in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, told AFP. He said that the heavy rains caused heavy damage in the remote areas of this mountainous region.
Local official Pradeep Jain said five members of the same family were notably buried in their home.
Five more victims were killed in a landslide in Almora district, north of Uttarakhand, and their house sank under rocks and mud.
Due to weather warnings, authorities have ordered school closures and ban all religious or tourist activities in the state.
Pictures broadcast on television and spread on social networking sites show residents making their way through knee-high water near the tourist site of Lake Nainital or the Ganges river that overflows in the city of Rishikesh.
More than a hundred tourists were stranded in the Ramgarh resort due to the flooding of the Kosi River, which inundated several areas.
Landslides regularly hit the northern Himalayas in India, but their number is increasing according to experts on global warming, melting glaciers, construction of hydroelectric dams, and deforestation.
In February, a flash flood devastated the Rishiganga Valley in Uttarakhand, killing about 200 people. Only about sixty bodies were found.
According to the weather forecast, heavy rains are also expected in the southern state of Kerala in the coming days, where floods have already killed more than 27 people since Friday.
Many dams in this tourist state were close to alert level, rivers overflowed, and thousands of people were evacuated by authorities. After a short rest on Tuesday, more heavy rain is expected over the next couple of days.
France Press agency
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