Flooding: Homes flattened in India landslide as at least 159 dead

The death toll from flooding and landslides in India climbed to at least 159, officials said, as nine people died when giant boulders bounced down a mountain and hit them in the north of the country. 

The rockslide, in the mountainous Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh, was captured in dramatic video footage shared on social media, with rocks landing on and destroying a bridge, and hitting parked cars.

Officials said the disaster was separate from monsoon rains, and caused instead by loose soil due to a lack of vegetation.

Jairam Thakurm, the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, said it was "heart-wrenching".

India’s western coast has been inundated by torrential rains since Thursday, with further downpours expected over the next few days.

Flooding and landslides are common during the treacherous monsoon season, but experts say climate change has caused the annual deluge to increase in frequency and intensity.

In Maharashtra state, 149 people have been killed, including more than 40 in a large landslide that hit the hillside village of Taliye, 155 miles southeast of Mumbai.

Dozens of homes were flattened in a matter of minutes, leaving just two concrete structures standing, and cutting off power.

Jayram Mahaske, a local villager, said: "Many people were washed away as they were trying to run away."

Another villager, Govind Malusare, said his nephew’s body had been found after the landslide hit his family’s home, but that his mother, brother, sister-in-law and niece were still missing.

A woman and a boy wade in a flooded street in a neighbourhood in Ningbo, eastern China's Zhejiang province, as Typhoon In-Fa lashes the eastern coast of China

Credit: AFP

Men wade in a flooded street in a neighborhood of Ningbo, eastern China's Zhejiang province on July 25, 2021, as Typhoon In-Fa lashes the eastern coast of China

Credit: AFP

A couple shelters under an umbrella by amid inclement weather in Ningbo, eastern China's Zhejiang province

Credit: AFP

On a visit to the city of Chiplun, Uddhav Thackeraym, the chief minister of Maharashtra, said: "Rain, floods, water are not new to the people here but what happened this time was unimaginable and they could not even save their belongings due to the rapid rise of water."

Eight patients at a local hospital treating coronavirus patients reportedly died after the power supply to ventilators was cut off.

A shopkeeper told NDTV: "The water level reached the ceiling of my shop, there was so much water inside."

Around 230,000 people were evacuated across Maharashtra.

Climate scientist Roxy Mathew Koll, of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, said climate change was warming the Arabian Sea, sparking more extreme rainfall events.

He said: "We are seeing a three-fold rise in widespread extreme rainfall events since 1950. In fact, what has happened in Europe, China and the rest of the world is similar to what’s happening in India."

China on Sunday cancelled flights, closed businesses and suspended train services in Shanghai as heavy winds and rains from a typhoon battered the country’s east.

Typhoon In-fa, which has brought heavy rains to the Philippines and Taiwan in recent days, made landfall with winds of up to 85mph.

By Sunday afternoon, some areas in the financial hub of Shanghai were already waterlogged, and hundreds of trees had been knocked down.

Around 360,000 Shanghai residents were evacuated ahead of the typhoon, and large container ships were moved from the city’s Yangshan port, one of the world’s busiest.

Hundreds of flights to and from Shanghai were cancelled while some underground trains and all high-speed trains were stopped.

A passenger pushes his luggage past a blank flights information board at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, Sunday, July 25, 2021

Credit: AP/Andy Wong

Dozens of tourist spots closed, including Shanghai’s historic Bund waterfront and the city’s Disneyland theme park.

In Zhejiang province, to Shanghai’s south, more than 1.5 million people were evacuated, with authorities opening up more than 12,000 temporary shelters.

The typhoon came as China was still reeling from heavy flooding earlier in the week that has killed at least 63 people, collapsed almost 9,000 homes and led to the relocation of more than one million residents.

The flooding was triggered by record rainfall that began on Tuesday.

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