Heavy rains, floods leave over 200 dead in central India

NEW DELHI — Over 200 people have died and thousands were rendered homeless by ravaging floods due to heavy rains in India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh over the past several days, a state government official confirmed to Xinhua. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the state received 34 percent excess rains compared to the previous year, leading to devastating floods. State Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Sunday tweeted that incessant rains continued in several parts, including Mandsaur, Neemach, Ratlam, Aagar, Shajapur, Ujjain, Gwalior, Khandwa, Bhopal, and Indore districts.

“I am continuously monitoring the overall situation. I am in touch with concerned officials and giving out necessary directions. Relief and rescue work is being carried out and the flood-affected victims are being rehabilitated,” he added.

According to him, efforts were being made to assess the loss of standing crops and farmers would be compensated accordingly. More than 230 houses collapsed, and about 10,000 houses have been partially or completely damaged so far.

The state government has released 400,000 Indian Rupees to each family of the deceased as compensation.

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Rescue operations by local authorities in addition to National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force teams have saved the lives of over 8,500 people who have been shifted to temporary relief camps and shelters, reported the New Delhi Television.

It quoted state’s Revenue Minister Govind Singh as saying, “Six to eight lakh hectares of land have been affected by the rain and flood, but the actual loss of the crops can only be ascertained after the reports of the ongoing crop damage assessment survey are submitted by various districts to the state government. Based on the damage assessment through the report, the crop damage will be compensated.” (Xinhua)