The death toll in the northern India floods and landslides rose to 46 on Wednesday, with the recovery of 23 more bodies in the past 24 hours.
Flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy post-monsoon showers hit the hilly state of Uttarakhand on Sunday. For the past three days, the hilly state has been identified experiencing incessant showers.
“So far, 46 bodies have been recovered, 23 in the past 24 hours. Efforts are on to find several others feared missing in the state,” a senior government official told the media.
The Indian Army has been carrying out rescue operations alongside the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the police. Three military choppers have been pressed into action in the affected areas.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to social media to condole the deaths.
“I am anguished by the loss of lives due to heavy rainfall in parts of Uttarakhand. May the injured recover soon. Rescue operations are underway to help those affected. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being,” he wrote.
On Tuesday, Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and took stock of the situation in the hilly state.
The Chief Minister had also conducted an aerial survey of the affected areas. “The CM has directed all district magistrates to complete the assessment of crop damage to farmers and send reports at the earliest,” the government had said in a statement.
Uttarakhand and the southern Indian state of Kerala have been witnessing the heaviest post-monsoon showers this year. In Kerala, at least 28 people have died since Saturday. Some people are still missing in Kerala, according to officials.
The deaths in Kerala occurred mostly in Kottayam and Idukki districts, where several houses were swept away following flooding and landslides on Saturday, rendering hundreds homeless. The displaced people are housed in makeshift camps.
Three years ago, in August 2018, over 400 people died in Kerala in what was touted as the state’s worst flooding in a century.