KOLKATA - At least 75 people have died and tens of thousands have had to take refuge in state-run relief camps after heavy rains caused floods and landslides in eastern India, government officials and aid groups said on Monday.
Exacerbated by Cyclone Komen which struck the east coast on Friday, the rainfall has made major rivers overflow, inundating villages in parts of West Bengal, Odisha and Manipur states. The rains also caused a landslide in Manipur, killing 21 people.
"In the last four years, there has been no flood like this year. So far, we have witnessed man-made floods and we have restricted them quite successfully. But the situation at present is rendered beyond control," Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, the worst affected state, told reporters on Sunday.
Banerjee said the release of water from over-full dams in the neighboring states of Jharkhand and Odisha had worsened the flooding in West Bengal, where at least 49 people have died.
Around 200,000 people have been shifted to relief camps in districts such as Burdwan, Hoogly, Howrah and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, and plastic sheets and dry food rations have been dispatched to survivors, one official said.