Floods kill 40 in India, damage crops

Residents are evacuated from a flooded neighbourhood in Hyderabad, India, on Oct 15, 2020.
Residents are evacuated from a flooded neighbourhood in Hyderabad, India, on Oct 15, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

MUMBAI (REUTERS) - Floods brought by heavy rains and overflowing rivers across large swathes of western and southern India have killed at least 40 people since Wednesday (Oct 14) and damaged rice, cotton and other crops, officials said.

The worst affected state was Telangana, where excessive unseasonal rainfall on Wednesday and Thursday flooded its capital Hyderabad, home to major IT companies and start-ups such as Microsoft, Accenture, Amazon and TCS.

In Telangana, 30 people died, while in the neighbouring western state of Maharashtra, 10 people were killed because of wall collapses, electrocution and drowning in overflowing streams, officials from the two states said on Thursday.

The authorities in Hyderabad declared a holiday on Thursday and asked residents to stay indoors.

Daily life has been disrupted in Hyderabad as many parts of the city lost power in the flooding.

Residents posted pictures on Twitter of floating cars, waterlogged homes, offices and streets.

A few districts in Maharashtra state received more than 100mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours and the state, including its capital Mumbai, is likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its daily forecast.

The rains have damaged rice paddies in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, while cotton, soybean and pulses were damaged in Maharashtra and Karnataka, traders said.

"Soybean, pigeon peas and black matpe crops have been damaged just before harvesting. The quality of the harvested crop has also deteriorated," said Mr Nitin Kalantri, a trader from Latur, in Maharashtra.

Telangana and Maharashtra have so far in October received 143 per cent and 78 per cent more rainfall than normal respectively, according to data compiled by IMD.