India monsoon death toll climbs to 124 as rescuers search for missing

Rescuers in India are combing through mud and debris in a desperate search for survivors and to evacuate villagers as the death toll from heavy monsoon rains climbs with nearly 90,000 evacuated.

The death toll from flooding and landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains in India climbed to 124 Sunday, officials said, with rescuers searching for dozens more missing.

The country’s western coast has been inundated by torrential rains since Thursday, with the India Meteorological Department warning of further downpours over the next few days.

Villager Jayram Mahaske, whose relatives remained trapped, told AFP that “many people were washed away as they were trying to run away” when the landslide hit.

Rescuers were scouring the mud and debris for 99 others still missing.

He said many bodies were washed away, with some found stuck among trees downstream.

In parts of Chiplun, water levels rose to nearly 20 feet (six metres) on Thursday after 24 hours of uninterrupted rain submerged roads and homes.

In neighbouring Goa, a woman drowned, the state government told the Press Trust of India, in what Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said were the “worst floods since 1982”.

Terrified residents climbed onto rooftops and upper floors to escape swelling waters.

Power supply was disrupted in the 11 affected districts and officials added that there were crop losses across vast swathes of land.

Four people died before dawn on Friday when a building collapsed in a Mumbai slum, authorities said.

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