At least 41 people have died and numerous others have been trapped by floods and landslides brought on by intense monsoon rains in India’s Himalayan region.
Days of rain in the northern Himalayan regions of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have swept away cars, ruined buildings, and destroyed bridges while killing at least 33 and eight people in each state, respectively.
Authorities said the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency that 12 people perished in two landslides in Shimla, the state’s capital, and nine people died in a cloudburst in the Himachal Pradesh district of Solan on Sunday night.
As the state was hammered by severe rains that caused flash floods and more landslides, at least another dozen people died.
Images from the hardest-hit parts of Himachal Pradesh showed bodies being removed from deep mounds of ominous soil that had trampled homes and broken roofs.
Power lines, communication networks, and important roadways have all been devastated, leaving thousands of people stuck. The earth below the railway lines was washed away, leaving them hanging in midair.
An overcrowded Hindu temple in Shimla was destroyed by landslides, sparking worries that the death toll could grow as rescue efforts continue.
Over 700 flooded roads have been stopped, and all state universities and institutions have been closed.
The state was expected to have moderate to heavy rainfall on Monday, the India Meteorological Department predicted. In the adjacent state of Uttarakhand, where 60 people have perished in monsoon rains this season, it had issued a red alert over the weekend for severe downpours.
Over the course of two weeks last month, record monsoon rainfall in portions of northern India, particularly the worst-affected Himachal Pradesh, claimed the lives of over 100 people.
In the Himalayan north of India, during the monsoon season from June to September, landslides and floods frequently occur. According to scientists, as the glaciers there melt due to global warming, they are happening more frequently.
In Uttarakhand, flash floods in February 2021 claimed the lives of about 200 people and destroyed hundreds of homes.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA