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India’s monsoon death toll swells as rain lashes east

India’s monsoon death toll rises above 230 as experts warn climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of annual monsoon storms between June and September.

A man pushes his tricycle van through floodwaters following rain in Kolkata, July 30, 2021. (AFP)

Eleven people have been killed in eastern India after torrential rains swept away homes and triggered landslides, according to officials, taking the country’s monsoon death toll above 230.

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Rainstorms that have swept across the nation lashed the eastern state of West Bengal causing widespread destruction.

Four people were electrocuted after rain gushed into their homes in Howrah and North 24 Parganas district, state disaster management minister Javed Khan said.

Seven people died when their houses were washed away by downpours, he said, with several still missing.

In neighbouring Jharkhand state, scores of cars remain submerged in floodwaters after five days of heavy rain.

A man pulls his auto rickshaw through waterlogged street after heavy rains in New Delhi, India, July 27, 2021. (Reuters)

Impact of climate change

Experts say climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of annual monsoon storms between June and September.

Western Maharashtra state has been hit by severe rainstorms, with landslides sending torrents of mud onto villages and killing at least 200 people.

The northern Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have also been badly hit.

Seven people were killed in a landslide in Himachal Pradesh this week and another seven people died in an intense storm that hit the remote village of Honzar in Indian Kashmir.

Several tourists remain stranded in the two states, with debris blocking key routes.

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