Death Toll For India’s Monsoon Rains Rises To 198 As Rescue Efforts Continue

(Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

Becky Falcon A professional freelance journalist
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The death toll of the monsoon-triggered landslides and floods in India has risen to 198 as authorities continue to search for missing people, according to RTE News Ireland.

A team of rescuers is currently busy conducting searches through the waist-deep mud in a desperate search for the missing residents as the death toll climbs, RTE News Ireland reported Monday. To beef up the search efforts, Indian authorities have deployed the Indian Army, the Navy, Air Force and Coast guards, according to CNN.

India’s western state of Maharashtra is primarily affected by the heavy rains and has so far recorded the highest number of deaths as a result of the catastrophe, according to CNN.

“Unexpected very heavy rainfall triggered landslides in many places and flooded rivers,” said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who heads Maharashtra’s state government, according to CNN.
“Dams and rivers are overflowing. We are forced to release water from dams, and, accordingly, we are moving people residing near the river banks to safer places,” he reportedly added.

Floods and landslides are a common phenomenon in India during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September. However, 70% of the country’s rainfall occurs in this season and benefits regional farmers, according to CNN.

Local experts claim that the season’s rains are becoming more intense due to climate change, RTE News reported.