More than 100 people have died in landslides and floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in the western Indian state of Maharashtra over the last two days, officials said on Saturday.
Maharashtra is experiencing the heaviest July rains in four decades. Raigad district, some 70 kms from state capital Mumbai, is the worst hit.
Of the over 100 deaths, some 36 occurred in three landslides in Raigad district alone on Thursday, where several houses were swept away by the floodwaters rendering hundreds homeless.
"While 32 people died in Taliye village, four people were killed in Mahad city. Rescue operations are still on," Raigad district collector Nidhi Chaudhary told the media.
In the neighbouring rain-hit Satara district, some 27 bodies have been recovered in the past 24 hours.
"The Indian Army has been called out to assist in rescue operations and military choppers have been pressed into action to ferry the stranded to safer locations," said Satara's police chief Ajay Kumar Bansal.
Local TV channels reported that over 84,000 people, including 40,000 in Kolhapur district, have been shifted to safer places.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took to Twitter to offer condolences to the families of the deceased. "Anguished by the loss of lives due to a landslide in Raigad, Maharashtra. My condolences to the bereaved families. I wish the injured a speedy recovery."
"The situation in Maharashtra due to heavy rains is being closely monitored and assistance is being provided to the affected," the PM added.
Barely a week back, some 30 people were killed in house collapses triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Mumbai. The deaths occurred in the hilly Chembur area, a suburb, and neighbouring Vikhroli area.
The Indian PM then announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.
Building collapses are common in India, particularly during the monsoon months of June, July and August. Poor construction quality is often blamed for such collapses.