The death toll from monsoon-induced floods and landslides in India rose to 159 on Sunday, according to authorities. Dozens of missing persons are also still wanted.
The country’s west coast has been facing torrential rains since Thursday and India’s weather service has warned of further showers in the coming days.
In Maharasthra state alone, 149 people lost their lives, including more than 40 in a landslide that hit the village of Taliye, south of Mumbai, on Thursday. “Many people were washed away as they tried to flee” when the landslide occurred, said a villager, Jayram Mahaske.
Dozens of houses were demolished in minutes, leaving only two concrete structures standing and cutting off the electricity supply. In Satara district, in the same state, 28 bodies were discovered, bringing the death toll to 41.
“The rain, the floods, the water, it is not new for the population, but this time what happened was unimaginable, people could not even save their belongings due to the rapid rise of the waters,” the head of government of the state of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, told the press after visiting the city of Chiplun on Sunday.
There, the water level reached nearly six meters on Thursday in some areas, after 24 hours of uninterrupted rain. In total, some 230,000 people were evacuated throughout the state of Maharashtra.