Eight more dead in India’s worsening monsoon floods

Prime Minister Modi to travel to Gujarat after monsoon claims more victims.
Prime Minister Modi to travel to Gujarat after monsoon claims more victims.

Worsening floods killed another eight people in 24 hours in India’s Gujarat state as rescue teams raced Tuesday (25) to reach hundreds of people marooned in stricken towns and villages.

With scores now dead in monsoon floods across the country, prime minister Narendra Modi was to fly over Gujarat later Tuesday to inspect the devastation, officials said.

More than 36,000 people have been moved to safe areas and helicopters and boats were used to rescue the worst-hit.

Torrential rain and the release of water from dams in neighbouring Rajasthan state created havoc in northern Gujarat, a government statement said.

Army and air force helicopter rescue teams picked up more than 1,000 people from villages in the state cut off by rising water levels, it added.

About 80 people are believed to have been killed in Gujarat since the start of the monsoon a month ago, and scores elsewhere in the country.

Gujarat’s main city Ahmedabad has had more than 50 centimetres (20 inches) of rain in four days, twice the average for July.

Downpours have wreaked havoc in several parts of the country.

Apart from Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam states in India’s northeast have been hard-hit, while pockets of the eastern states of Odisha and Bihar have also been affected.

In Assam at least 75 people have been killed and a state-wide emergency relief operation has been underway since April. Tens of thousands of acres of crops have been destroyed.

Thirteen people were killed in flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir at the weekend.