SHIMLA, India (AFP) — At least 15 people were killed in India after heavy monsoon rains triggered flash floods and landslides near the Himalayan foothills, authorities said Saturday.
Flooding and landslides are common and cause widespread devastation during India’s treacherous monsoon season.
Experts say climate change is increasing the number of extreme weather events around the world, with damming, deforestation and development projects in India exacerbating the human toll.
Rescue officials were rushed to Mandi district in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh where a torrent of floodwater swept away two houses and killed eight people, a government statement said.
Landslides and flooding claimed seven other lives across the state, the release added.
Television news footage showed part of a railway bridge washed away by the deluge in nearby Kangra district.
In Hamipur district, flash floods stranded 19 people on the rooftops of local buildings before they were rescued by disaster response teams.
Schools were closed in the worst-affected districts.
Picturesque Himachal Pradesh is famed for its snow-capped mountains and is popular with tourists.
Last month, eight people died after flash floods triggered by a sudden downpour struck a camp for pilgrims in nearby Kashmir.
Heavy rains battered India’s remote northeast in June, with nearly 40 killed in a landslide that swamped a camp housing railway workers and army reservists in Manipur state.
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