Rescuers scramble to find survivors following mass flooding in India

Source: Associated Press

Days of landslides and flooding triggered by heavy monsoon rain killed at least 113 people and injured 50 in India's western Maharashtra state, officials said today, as rescuers scrambled to find at least 100 missing people.

A government spokesperson, Sandhya Garware, said over 130,000 people were rescued from nearly 900 affected villages across the state.

Many of those rescued were stranded on rooftops and even on top of buses on highways.

Authorities deployed hundreds of rescuers in the affected area to trace missing people and take stranded to safety.

Scores of soldiers were also helping in the rescue efforts.

Indian navy said it deployed helicopters to evacuate stranded people and sent rescue teams with boats to the region.

Disasters caused by landslides and flooding are common in India during the June-September monsoon season, when heavy rains weaken the foundations of structures that are often poorly built.

The monsoon is crucial for rain-fed crops planted during the season, but the rain often causes extensive damage and kills scores of people each year.

Last weekend, more than 30 people were killed in landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rain in and around Mumbai.

Experts say heavy rainfall along India's western coast is in line with how rainfall patterns have changed in the region in past years due to climate change as the warming Arabian Sea is driving more cyclones and more intense rainfall over short periods of time.