181 die in India, Pakistan floods: Philippines quake

By Eudore R. Chand

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU 12 August 2019: The death toll from floods in the four Indian states rose to 158, news agencies quoted state authorities as saying on Sunday.

The death toll in three states – Kerala, Karnataka, and Maharashtra – reached 147, Reuters reported on Sunday, said Wam.

Heavy rain and landslides forced hundreds of thousands of people to take shelter in relief camps, while train services were cancelled in several flood-hit areas.

In the southern state of Kerala, at least 57 people were killed in rain-related incidents while over 165,000 people were in relief camps in the state, Reuters quoted the state authorities as saying on Sunday.

“Several houses are still covered under 10-12 feet deep mud. This is hampering rescue work,” state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

Authorities worried that rescue operations would be hit by thunderstorms and rainfall predicted in some parts of Kerala.

Kerala hit again

Last year, more than 200 people were killed in Kerala and over five million affected in one of the worst floods in 100 years in the state.

In another southern state of Karnataka, several structures at world heritage site Hampi, an ancient town, were flooded. So far 60 people have died in rain-related incidents, said state chief minister B S Yediyurappa, adding nearly 227,000 people were staying in relief camps.

In the western state of Maharashtra, where the death toll stood at 30, the flood situation was improving, according to state-run All India Radio. However authorities said it would be difficult to restore rail services in some flood-hit areas within the next two weeks.

While Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra have been the worst hit this year, several other states including Gujarat, Assam and Bihar have also seen heavy damage due to floods, said the Reuters report.

Meanwhile, an Asian News International, ANI, report on Sunday said at least 11 people have lost their lives in the western state of Gujarat in the last 48 hour as incessant rains wreaked havoc in the state.

6,000 Evacuated

Rescue operation to evacuate people to a safer place is underway. So far, around 6,000 people have been moved to safety.

A policeman from the state received praise for his bravery and kindness. He carried two children on his shoulders for over 1.5 kilometres to rescue them from the floodwaters in Kalyanpur village of Morbi district in Gujarat.

Pruthviraj Jadeja, the policeman, braved fierce current floodwaters and strong winds to save the children, and received praise from the State Chief Minister Vijay Rupani who shared the video and lauded the officer on Twitter.

In the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, due to unrelenting rains, Thal-Munsiyari Road near Banik has been shut on Sunday after boulders and debris blocked the road.

Earlier on Sunday, in another incident, a huge boulder fell on the road and blocked the portion of the national highway-125 between Dharchula and Tawaghat in the state.

Nearly two dozen killed as heavy rains inundate Pakistan’s Karachi

ISLAMABAD: Nearly two dozen people have been killed in the Pakistani city of Karachi after heavy monsoon rains inundated most parts of the metropolis, officials and rescuers said on Sunday.

Most deaths were caused by electrocution and falling roofs in the city of 20 million people, German news agency DPA quoted local official Ali Sajjad as saying.

At least 23 deaths have been reported since the rain started on Saturday night and continued until Sunday afternoon, said Anwar Kazmi from the private Edhi rescue agency.

The death toll was expected to rise as roads and streets were still flooded in some parts of the city, making it impossible for rescuers to reach the victims, Kazmi added.

The military was assisting the civil administration in pumping the water out of the inundated streets, an army spokesperson said.

More Rain Coming

The metrological department’s Sardar Sarfraz predicted more spells of rain, but said they would not be intense.

The heavy rains are expected to hit the central province of Punjab on Monday when the Muslim majority country is scheduled to celebrate the religious festival of Eid Al Adha.

A similar deluge might hit different cities in Punjab, the National Disaster Management Authority, NDMA, warned on Sunday.

Hundreds of people are killed across South Asia by flash floods and the inundation of cities during the monsoon, a rainy season in July and August.

The phenomenon of global warming has intensified these threats, the DPA report quoted environmentalist Qamar Zaman Chaudhry as saying.

6.3 earthquake hits north Philippines

HANOI: An earthquake of 6.3 magnitude on the Richter scale shook the Luzon island in north of the Philippines on Sunday, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Philvolcs.

The quake occurred at 13:28 (local time), Vietnam News Agency, VNA, quoted the Philvolcs as saying. Its epicentre was 161 km deep and 5km southwest of Batangas province on the Luzon island, according to the institute.

Office workers and students in the capital of Manila were briefly evacuated from their buildings after feeling the swaying and shaking, but no damage was reported.

The US Geological Survey measured the magnitude at 6.2 on the Richter scale and the epicentre was 168km deep.

The Philippines lies on the Ring of Fire, a vast Pacific Ocean region where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur, said the VNA report.

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