At least 40 dead across Indian states as intense rain triggers flash floods and landslides

Hundreds more have been displaced from their homes and are taking shelter in relief camps across Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh

Maanya Sachdeva
Sunday 21 August 2022 16:14 BST
Rural Patna, India is ravaged by flood

At least 40 people have died across northern and eastern India after incessant rains over the past three days triggered flash floods and landslides.

The rains inundated hundreds of villages, swept away mud houses, flooded roads and destroyed bridges in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

According to a statement from the Indian government on Sunday, the fatal monsoon rains in Himachal Pradesh have killed at least 36 people.

Meanwhile, hundreds more have been displaced from their homes and are taking shelter in relief camps across the Himalayan state.

In neighbouring Uttarakhand, a series of cloudbursts on Saturday left four dead and 13 missing as rivers breached banks and washed away some houses.

Rescue teams were evacuating people left stranded in both states.

“We have deployed choppers to rescue people who are stuck in remote areas due to rain-related incidents,” said Ranjit Kumar Sinha, an official in Uttarakhand’s disaster management department.

The India Meteorological Department has predicted heavy rain for the region over the next two days.

In the eastern state of Odisha, at least six people were killed in ongoing torrential rains, a state official said.

Floods have affected nearly 800,000 people and displaced thousands from their homes in Odisha, with rains disrupting electricity and water supply, and damaging road infrastructure.

The state has evacuated 120,000 people so far from the affected areas. Authorities in the Ramgarh district of the eastern state of Jharkhand said five people had been swept away by swollen the Nalkari river on Saturday.

A bridge that collapsed following heavy rain in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh

Madhvi Mishra, a district official in Ramgarh, told Reuters four bodies have been recovered so far.

Disasters caused by landslides and floods are common in India‘s Himalayan north during the June-September monsoon season. Scientists say they are becoming more frequent as global warming contributes to the melting of glaciers in the region.

Last year, flash floods devastated Uttarakhand, killing nearly 200 people and washing away houses.

Additional reporting by agencies

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