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23 dead as heavy rains lash India's Uttarakhand state

Published : 19 Oct 2021 10:35 PM | Updated : 21 Oct 2021 12:37 PM

As many as 23 people have died in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy post-monsoon showers in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand in the past two days, officials said on Tuesday.

Of the deaths, 16 occurred in the district of Nainital on Tuesday. "Seven people were killed after the wall of a house collapsed in Nainital, following a cloudburst in the district. Some people are also missing in the district," a senior government official told the media.

The Indian Army has been carrying out relief and rescue operations alongside the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the local police. Three Army choppers have been pressed into action in the most-affected areas of the state.

Earlier in the day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra 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 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 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 the southern state, 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 of people 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.

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