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12 dead, hundreds evacuated after rains lash western India

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At least 12 people have died and four are missing after heavy rains lashed the Pune district of India’s western Maharashtra state, disaster management officials on Thursday said.

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

At least 1,607 people have died from rain-related incidents across the country from June to Sept. 24, according to data from India’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

In the latest incidents, five people died in Pune city when a wall collapsed after sudden, heavy rains on Wednesday, said Sohan Gaekwad, an official at the Pune disaster management control room.

The other deaths were reported from Khed Shivapur area in Pune’s suburbs. Most of the victims were washed away by sudden floodwaters from an overflowing canal.

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

It is the headquarters of several corporations including Volkswagen India, Mercedez-Benz India, and LG Electronics India.

The evacuation of hundreds of people living in flooded areas and near water bodies was taking place round the clock with the help of National Disaster Response Force teams, Pune district official Naval Kishore Ram said.

The weather department has forecast more rain on Thursday and Friday.

Water is being pumped out of Pune city’s waterlogged roads and the district administration has ordered all schools and colleges in the region to remain closed on Thursday.


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