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Death toll 21 in western India amid heavy monsoon rains

Torrential monsoon rains, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, caused a major landslide and flooding that has cut off some areas, forcing the evacuation of more than 22,000 people, authorities said on Friday.

The death toll in western India’s Pune district has reached 21 amid heavy monsoon rains and 12 people are still missing, a disaster management official said on Friday.

“The rains have receded since yesterday but more bodies have been recovered overnight,’’ Pune District Disaster Management Department officer, Vithal Bhanot, said.

Sixteen of the bodies were recovered from Pune city and another five from a suburb inundated after a cloudburst on Wednesday.

Some of the deaths were caused by building collapses, while other victims were swept away in floods.

India’s monsoon season between June and early October often sees heavy rains that cause death and destruction.

More than 1,600 people died in rain-related incidents between June and September 24, according to the Home Ministry.

“The situation is normal now.

“Rescue workers from local government departments, assisted by teams from the National Disaster Response Force, are searching for the missing people,’’ Bhanot said.

Pune is the second-largest city in Maharashtra state after financial hub Mumbai.

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