The death toll from floods in three Indian states has risen to 95, as heavy rain and landslides forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate their homes.
Seasonal monsoon rains from June to September are a crucial lifeline for agrarian Indian society, delivering 70 per cent of the country’s rainfall, but they also bring in their wake death and destruction every year.
Some 42 people died in southwestern Kerala and over 100,000 affected people have been evacuated, the central government’s disaster management cell said, after 80 landslides hit the state in two days.
The state planned to open the gates of Banasurasagar dam in Wayanad, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Shutters of the dam were partially opened on Saturday morning to manage the water level and avoid serious damage.
A red alert, or severe rainfall and bad weather conditions forecast, has been issued for seven out of 14 districts in the state.
Last year, Kerala was hit by one of its worst floods in one hundred years. More than 200 people were killed and over 5 million affected.
The state’s busiest airport, Cochin International Airport, has been closed since Friday as the taxiway is water-logged. The airport is expected to reopen from Sunday as water levels had started to recede.
In neighbouring Karnataka, home to India’s tech hub Bengaluru, some 24 people have died in what chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said were the worst floods in 45 years.
Around 1,024 villages have been inundated due to the rains, several dams are reaching their full capacity, and over 200,000 people had been evacuated, he added.
#KeralaFloods2019: A video that shows the narrow escape of a man from a mudslide in Malappuram district. Kerala is battling flood fury for a second consecutive year where death toll has now reached to 45. #FloodFury #keralarains2019
— India Ahead News (@IndiaAheadNews) August 10, 2019
As many as 16 of the state’s 30 districts have been affected by the heavy rains and 235,105 people have been evacuated and shifted to 624 relief camps.
In neighbouring Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital Mumbai, 29 people have died this week.
The Indian Meteorological Department has forecast heavy to very heavy rain in parts the three affected states on Saturday.