110,000 evacuated as monsoon rains wreak havoc in western India
The army and local authorities evacuated nearly 75,000 people living in low-lying areas and near river banks in Maharashtra's six western districts including Sangli, Kohlapur, Shirol, Satara, Pune and Nashik since Friday, the PTI news agency reported.
According to the NDTV network, at least 14 people were killed in house collapses, mudslides and drownings in the Sangli district over the last three days.
In the worst-hit Kohlapur district, large swathes were submerged under rain water, bringing life to a grinding halt.
Meanwhile, 40,000 people were moved to safer places in neighbouring Gujarat state which was also battered by incessant rains over the weekend.
Rail and road traffic was disrupted in the state's south and central districts including Surat, Valsad Navsari, Vadodra and Anand, from where 15 deaths were reported since July 28.
Local agencies which were placed on alert in view of the grim flood situation were busy carrying out relief operations.
"We have been stuck in our houses since last night. It was only in the morning that we were rescued by the fire brigade teams," Seema, a villager (who uses only one name) told the NDTV network.
Efforts were on to rescue 80 children stranded in a school in the Anand district.
Media outlets also reported about 11 more fatalities in rain-related incidents in northern Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states over the weekend, bringing the death toll in India to over 480 since the monsoon rains began at the end of May.
At least 1,300 people were killed across India in the monsoon season of 2005. Over 80 per cent of the fatalities were reported from Maharashtra and Gujarat states. dpa sk jh
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