Nine tourists have lost their lives in a landslide in a northern Indian state, Himanchal Pradesh.
By Maryam Razzaq
Boulders fell and hit the vehicle in which the tourists were travelling in. Nine of the eleven tourists in the vehicle lost their lives, with 2 survivors.
Members of the National Disaster Response Forces (NDRF) conducted a search and rescue operation at the disaster site near Badseri Village in Kinnaur.
All the tourists killed in the landslide were Indian, visiting from either the capital, Delhi or elsewhere in India, while one of the injured was a local individual. Video footage has been released which showed boulders falling and hitting vehicles and causing a bridge to completely fall apart.
Indian Prime Minister shared his thoughts on the incident through his official Twitter account.
“The accident caused by a landslide in Kinnaur, Himanchal Pradesh is very sad. My heartfelt condolences to the families of those who list their lives in this. All arrangements are being made for the treatment of those injured in the accident,” said Modi.
India has been battling flooding and landslides in the past couple weeks which have been caused by heavy monsoon rain. Thus far, 113 people have been killed and 50 others injured. Government officials have confirmed that more than 130,000 individuals have been rescued from around 900 affected villages across Maharashtra. The Indian navy used helicopters to evacuate stranded people and further used boats to rescue people from other districts for easier accessibility.
Talai, 168 miles to the south of Mumbai, India has been one of the worst villages to experience landslides and flooding. 59 households were buried under a landslide late last week. Indian authorities continue to dispatch rescue teams even as difficult weather conditions, large debris and terrain make their rescue efforts and humanitarian work extremely difficult. Two additional bodies were recovered on Sunday, which took the number of villagers killed to 42 and roughly the same number of villages continue to be missing.
Between the months of June to September, landslides and flooding are a common issue in Indian as the monsoon season and heavy rain comes into effect. This falls into the rainfall patterns continue to change in the overall region as a direct result of climate change. The warming Arabian Sea continues to drive more cyclones and intense rainfall over short period of time in the region.
While the monsoon rains cause deaths and mass displacements every year, they also are a cause for 70% of India’s rain and are needed for farmers.