MUMBAI: Floods brought by heavy rains and overflowing rivers across large swathes of western and southern India have killed at least 40 people since Wednesday and damaged rice, cotton and other crops, officials said. The worst affected state was Telangana, where excessive unseasonal rainfall on Wednesday and yesterday flooded its capital Hyderabad, home to major IT companies and startups such as Microsoft, Accenture, Amazon and TCS.
In Telangana 30 people died, while in neighboring western state of Maharashtra 10 people were killed because of wall collapses, electrocution and drowning in overflowing streams, officials from the two states said yesterday. Authorities in Hyderabad declared a holiday yesterday and asked residents to stay indoors. Daily life has been disrupted in Hyderabad as many parts of the city lost power in the flooding. Residents posted pictures on Twitter of floating cars, waterlogged homes, offices and streets.
A few districts in Maharashtra state received more than 100 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours and the state, including its capital Mumbai, is likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its daily forecast. The rains have damaged rice paddies in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, while cotton, soybean and pulses were damaged in Maharashtra and Karnataka, traders said.
“Soybean, pigeon peas and black matpe crops have been damaged just before harvesting. The quality of the harvested crop has also deteriorated,” said Nitin Kalantri, a trader from Latur, in Maharashtra. Telangana and Maharashtra have so far in October received 143 percent and 78 percent more rainfall than normal respectively, according to data compiled by IMD.
Eight members of a family, who were standing in their balcony to watch the rain, were also washed away due to sudden flooding in Hyderabad. Two of them were found dead and the search is on for the remaining six, the Times of India reported. Personnel from the army and the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed to evacuate stranded residents.
Weather officials blamed the sudden deluge on a depression in the Bay of Bengal. Telangana state is the hardest hit area but the flooding has also affected neighboring Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Flash floods kill hundreds of people across India every year, with experts blaming poor construction and warning systems for the fatalities. -Agencies