Gujarat Floods toll rises to 213; CM Rupani visits Banaskantha

Xavier Trudeau
Août 2, 2017

The death toll from flooding in India's western state of Gujarat has risen to 218.

Overall, more than 650 people have died in floods and rain-related incidents across India since the beginning of the monsoon season in early June.

An official at the state's emergency control room explained that "only after a post-mortem is conducted we can officially confirm death of a person". Overwhelmed authorities, who expect the toll to rise still further, said they have struggled to cope with the number of bodies needing identification and post-mortems, resulting in delays in confirming the latest deaths.

The waters recede from low-lying areas, allowing workers to reach remote spots where bodies are starting to appear. It also announced that norms for payment of relief had been eased.The state government announced on Sunday that chief minister Vijay Rupani, several ministers, and top bureaucrats would camp in the flood-hit areas of Banaskantha and Patan for five days to oversee relief operations.Rupani, who was in Radhanpur on Monday, said flood victims in the two districts would get Rs7,000 instead of Rs3,800 for damage to household items.

Relief operations are now underway following a break in the rain. Bodies of 17 members of a family swept away in swirling waters of Banas river were found on Wednesday in Khariya village near Palanpur in north Gujarat's Banaskantha district. Tens of thousands of acres of crops have been destroyed.

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