20 feared dead in India landslide


GUWAHATI: Rescuers were searching Sunday for 20 villagers feared killed in a landslide in remote northeast India, as the death toll from recent floods elsewhere in the country topped 100, officials said.
A side of a hill collapsed on Saturday onto a village in Manipur state close to the border with Myanmar where monsoon downpours there have also triggered landslides and flooding.
Local magistrate Memi Mary said rescuers reached the crushed village after being flown by helicopter and then trekking as blocked roads hampered access to the site, some 80 kilometres (50 miles) from state capital Imphal.
“So far we have reports of 20 people killed when a hillock caved and trapped the villagers,” the magistrate told AFP by telephone from the nearby town of Chandel.
Photos showed a bridge washed away by floodwaters in Manipur after days of torrential rain, while TV stations showed footage of a house collapsing and families sleeping in make-shift evacuation centres.
In West Bengal, some 42 people have been killed in the last week from floods, while some 250,000 homes have been destroyed, state disaster management minister Javed Ahmad Khan said.
“The situation is going to worsen. All rivers are flowing above their danger marks,” Khan told AFP.
Flooding in West Bengal has spiked in recent days after the remnants of Cyclone Komen swept across the state from the Bay of Bengal.
The national government said late Sunday that rescue operations were underway in the northern state of Rajasthan where 28 people have died since the monsoon started in June, and about half of those in recent days.
“So far 630 peoples have been rescued from various districts in Rajasthan,” the home ministry said in a statement.
Another five people perished in Orissa state where the ministry said rescue operations were also underway.
In the far western state of Gujarat, the death toll from floods has reached 53, after more drownings, electrocutions and other incidents.
More than 10,000 people have been evacuated across Gujarat in the past week, an official in the state’s emergency control room told AFP.
“The death toll has reached 53 since July 26 with 23 deaths in the worst-affected Banaskantha district alone,” the official said.
But he said waters were now receding, allowing power and communications to be restored.
The monsoon, vital for South Asia including for crop production, routinely brings flooding and destruction. India receives nearly 80 percent of its annual rainfall from June to September.



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