Emergencies services in Maharashtra are enduring their biggest test in post-lockdown India. Rescue teams have struggled to reach a growing number of submerged homes. But, navigating the debris and mounting sludge has hampered efforts in the face of accidents and landslides due to the torrential monsoon rain. The death toll currently stands at 125.
Meteorologists say there have been no<a href=”https://www.dw.com/en/india-monsoon-death-toll-trebles/a-58621952″> heavier rains</a> in Maharashtra state in July in forty years. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced as the skies emptied themselves upon the state, and major rivers are on the brink of defying their banks.
A senior government official reports that in Taliye alone, 42 people have been confirmed dead with four more bodies recovered after landslides obliterated most homes in the village. He said around 40 people are still trapped, and the chances of rescuing them is getting slimmer as they’ve been trapped in mud for no less than 36 hours.
Maharashtra is not the only place in the world alone fighting harsh weather conditions. Heat waves in North America and floods in western Europe and China are leading experts to believe the impact of climate change has assumed new dimensions.
Up to 23 inches of rain has been reported in India’s west coast and with no hope in sight, authorities are evacuating people from vulnerable areas as they released water from banks threatening to overflow. More than 90,000 have been evacuated so far. Rescuers are continuing their search for victims in four other locations in Maharashtra.
PM Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over the loss of lives. While he highlighted government monitoring and assistance, it’s hard not to think if government is doing enough to control environmental hazards. It’s Maharashtra today, who could it be next especially as government continues to disregard the ecological balance of the Western Ghats. Otherwise, <a href=”https://www.indiatoday.in/coronavirus-outbreak/story/maharashtra-revises-covid-death-toll-pushing-india-toll-1830694-2021-07-21″>Covid might be a smaller threat overall</a> than the monsoon rains.
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