India monsoon: 36 dead after landslides in Maharashtra

image copyrightNDRFimage captionRescue operations have been hampered by heavy downpours

At least 36 people have been killed after monsoon-season floods triggered landslides in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

Houses in Raigad district were swept away after torrential rain and flooding.

Rescuers have been recovering bodies from under debris but more people are feared missing.

The rescue operations have been hampered by heavy downpours and foggy conditions.

Maharashtra is experiencing its heaviest monsoon season in July in 40 years, which experts say is a direct result of climate change.

More than 30 people have died in the state's largest city, Mumbai over the past week in a landslide and a wall collapse caused by heavy downpours.

Raigad district collector Nidhi Chaudhary told news agency ANI that 32 people died at Taliye village and four were killed in Mahad city.

Maharashtra's chief minister, Udhav Thackeray, called an emergency meeting, where he asked officials to immediately provide aid to those affected by the disaster, according to local reports.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Mr Thackeray to take stock of the situation, and assured him of full support.

The Indian navy and the National Disaster Management Force (NDRF) are helping the rescuers who are struggling to find the bodies in Raigad.

The site has been completely cut off after bridges and mobile towers in the area collapsed amid the flooding.

Authorities have asked stranded residents to go to rooftops from where the rescuers – coming in helicopters as the boats can't reach there – can spot them.

In India's financial capital Mumbai, two people died and 10 others were injured after a residential structure collapsed in the city's Govandi area on Friday.

Train services have been suspended and the city's low-lying areas have turned into flood zones. And weather experts say heavy rains will continue to lash the city over the next few days.

Heavy rains in Mumbai are not uncommon. The city experiences flooding every year during the monsoon season, but the intensity of the rains has increased in recent years.

Thousands of people migrate to the city every day in search of jobs which fuels rapid construction, which is very often unregulated – forcing many to live in dilapidated buildings.

Experts also blame climate change and the changing weather patterns for the extreme conditions.

media captionHeavy monsoon rains have been lashing Mumbai

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