The death toll from heavy monsoon downpours in northern India climbed to 24 Saturday after seven people in a house were killed in their sleep by a landslide, authorities said.
Heavy rains in the last two days have triggered landslides in the scenic Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, reviving memories of a deadly deluge last year that killed some 5,000 people.
“Seven people were killed while one woman was pulled alive by rescue workers from the debris of a house which collapsed due to overnight rain,” district magistrate Chandresh Yadav told AFP, adding that the death toll had risen to 24.
According to officials in Pauri district, at least 50 families were stranded and the army was being deployed to evacuate them.
With more rain predicted in the next 24 hours, state authorities have sought reinforcements from the army and the air force, said government spokesman Surendra Kumar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief on Twitter over the loss of lives in the state and extended his condolences to the affected families.
While India’s annual rains are a lifeline for the country’s farm sector, flooding, landslides and building collapses are frequent during the monsoon season, which sweeps India from June to September.
Earlier this month, at least 151 people were killed in western Indian city of Pune by a massive landslide caused by monsoon rains.
Neighbouring Nepal suffered its worst landslide in more than a decade this month in which 156 people were presumed killed.