India floods kill more than 270, displace one million

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A man stands next to damaged cars after a landslide caused by torrential monsoon rains at Puthumala near Meppadi, Wayanad district, in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 14, 2019. (REUTERS)
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In this handout photo taken and released by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) Communication Department on August 11, 2019, Indian National Congress Party president Rahul Gandhi (unseen) visits the landslide site at Kavalappara-Bhoothanam, in Malappuram district of Kerala state, where many people are still trapped and rescue operations still going on. (AFP)
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People gather on the banks of the overflowing Periyar River as flood waters continued to rise in the Aluva area of Kochi, in the south Indian state of Kerala, on August 9, 2019. (AFP)
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Volunteers, local residents and members of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) search for survivors in the debris left by a landslide at Puthumala at Meppadi in the Wayanad district of the Indian state of Kerala on August 10. (AFP)
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Residents are being evacuated from their home to a safer place following floods warnings, on a wooden boat at Kadamakkudi near Kochi in the Indian state of Kerala on August 10, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 15 August 2019
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India floods kill more than 270, displace one million

  • Last year Kerala was hit by its worst floods in almost a century with around 450 people killed

BENGALURU/MUMBAI: Floods and landslides have killed more than 270 people in India this month, displaced one million and inundated thousands of homes across six states, authorities said on Wednesday after two weeks of heavy monsoon rains.
The rains from June to September are a lifeline for rural India, delivering some 70% of the country’s rainfall, but they also cause death and destruction each year.
The southern states of Kerala and Karnataka, and Maharashtra and Gujarat in the west, were among the hardest hit by floods that washed away thousands of hectares of summer-sown crops and damaged roads and rail lines.
At least 95 people were killed and more than 50 are missing in Kerala, where heavy rainfall triggered dozens of landslides last week and trapped more than 100 people.
About 190,000 people are still living in relief camps in the state, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, but he added some people are returning home as flood waters recede.
In neighboring Karnataka, home to the technology hub Bengaluru, 54 people died and 15 are missing after rivers burst their banks when authorities released water from dams.
Nearly 700,000 people have been evacuated in the state.
Heavy rainfall is expected in parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat, as well as the central state of Madhya Pradesh, in the next two days, weather officials said.
In Maharashtra, which includes the financial capital Mumbai, 48 people died but flood waters are receding, said a state official.
“We are now trying to restore electricity and drinking water supplies,” he said.
In Madhya Pradesh, the biggest producer of soybeans, heavy rains killed 32 people and damaged crops, authorities said.
In Gujarat, 31 people died in rain-related incidents, while landslides killed nearly a dozen people in the northern hilly state of Uttarakhand.


Trump suggested nuking hurricanes: report

Updated 25 min 3 sec ago
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Trump suggested nuking hurricanes: report

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump suggested dropping nuclear bombs on hurricanes before they made landfall in the United States, Axios online news site reported Sunday.
During a hurricane briefing, Trump asked if it were possible to disrupt hurricanes forming off the coast of Africa by dropping a nuclear bomb in the eye of the storm, Axios wrote.
According to an anonymous source, meeting attendees left the briefing thinking, “What do we do with this?“
Axios did not say when this conversation took place.
It is reportedly not the first time the president made such a suggestion. In 2017, Trump asked a senior official whether the administration should bomb hurricanes to prevent them making landfall.
Axios said that in this conversation Trump did not specify that nuclear bombs be used.
The White House declined to comment, but a senior administration official said Trump’s “objective is not bad,” Axios.
Trump’s idea is not new, according to Axios. The suggestion was originally made by a government scientist in the 1950s, under President Dwight Eisenhower.
The idea continues to pop up, even though scientists agree it would not work.
The US is regularly pummeled by hurricanes. In 2017 one named Harvey became the strongest hurricane to make landfall in 12 years.
Since then, the East Coast has been hit with a string of catastrophic storms, which have killed thousands of people and cost hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.