Floods and landslides across southern and western Indian states have killed nearly 200 people over the past week as the Indian Army intensifies its relief operations to help thousands stranded in desperate need of rescue.
Extreme weather conditions that have been battering the Indian states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Gujarat since last week forced hundreds of thousands of people to seek temporary shelters. The heavy rains also impacted travel in the region, disrupting train and airport connections.
To deal with the ongoing calamity, which by Sunday claimed at least 178 lives, the Indian armed forces deployed around 3,000 personnel and units of various hardware, including helicopters, to help with flood relief and rescue operations in the four affected states.
The surge in water level caused all the rivers in the state of Karnataka to overflow. At least 40 people were confirmed dead in Karnataka, and at least 400,000 were displaced. The state disaster management agency tried to reassure locals on Sunday, announcing that “the water has started receding in many districts and flood situation has improved.”
In the southern state of Kerala, at least 67 people were killed in rain-related incidents, while 227,000 people were moved to some 1,551 relief camps. Water levels have been falling on Sunday, but authorities say it’s too early to be optimistic. “We need to be cautious. It’s not easy to escape from landslides,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Floods also hit Maharashtra state, where at least 40 deaths were reported, while an estimated 400,000 people were forced to leave their homes. Another 31 deaths were reported in Gujarat state, which was also hit by the monsoon and landslides.
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