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40 killed in floods and landslides in northern India as forecasters warn of more heavy rain

Floods and landslides triggered by intense monsoon rains have killed at least 40 people in northern India over the last three days, and others are missing.

Heavy rainfall overwhelmed hundreds of villages, as mud houses were swept away, roads were covered by water, bridges were destroyed, and rescuers raced to help stranded residents.

In the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh, at least 36 people died and hundreds took shelter in relief camps after being displaced.

Four people were killed and 13 were missing in the neighbouring state of Uttarakhand in a series of cloudbursts – where extreme amounts of rain fall in a short period of time.

An evacuated building collapses due to a landslide in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Image:
An evacuated building collapses due to a landslide in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

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

More heavy rainfall is forecast for the region in the next two days, said the Indian meteorological department.

In the eastern state of Odisha, floods have affected almost 800,000 people and displaced thousands from their homes, with rains hitting electricity and water supplies, and damaging roads.

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Reuters said there had been at least six deaths in Odisha, where 120,000 people have so far been evacuated from the affected areas.

Disasters sparked by landslides and floods are frequent in India’s Himalayan north during the June-September monsoon season, and scientists claim they are becoming more common as global warming contributes to glaciers melting.

A flooded bridge following heavy rains in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India
Image:
A flooded bridge following heavy rains in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India

Meanwhile in neighbouring Pakistan, floods have killed at least 36 people, including 11 in areas bordering Afghanistan.

And a disaster response official in Afghanistan‘s Logar province said there were at least nine fatalities but the death toll was still unclear.

The floods swept away homes as well as killing livestock and destroying agricultural land.

People inspect their damaged homes after heavy flooding in the Khushi district of Logar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. Pic: AP
Image:
People inspect their damaged homes after heavy flooding in the Khushi district of Logar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. Pic: AP

Villagers in the Khushi district of Logar province, south of the capital Kabul, were seen cleaning up after the floods badly damaged their homes.

Del Agha, a village elder, said the flooding was unprecedented in the history of Khushi.

“It destroyed all the people’s animals, houses and agricultural lands,” he said.

“People are homeless, they have been refuged to the mountains.”

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