India: At least 15 killed in monsoon rains

At least 15 people have died in northern India in floods and landslides triggered by monsoon rains, as New Delhi recorded its highest one-day rainfall in 40 years, media and authorities said Sunday.

The capital, whose streets were submerged in knee-deep water, received 153 millimeters of rain, the most in a single July day for forty years. With the meteorological service predicting another day of heavy rain, authorities ordered New Delhi’s schools to close on Monday. According to Indian news agency PTI, fifteen people have died in the last 24 hours across six northern Indian states.

The mountainous state was the hardest hit, with six people killed in Himachal Pradesh where landslides cut around 700 roads, Omkar Sharma, a disaster management official, told AFP. The meteorological service is forecasting heavy rains in many parts of northern India for the next few days. According to official data, the monsoon rains that fell in India in the first week of July were 2% above normal. The monsoon rains, from June to September, represent 70 to 80% of annual rainfall in South Asia. Every year they cause death and destruction, but the number of deadly floods and landslides has increased in recent years.

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