Death toll rises to 72 as heavy rain batters India
At least 72 people have died and more than a dozen were missing after landslides and flash floods hit southern India.
According to the Kadapa district official, at least 30 people were killed and 18 others went missing after three buses of Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation were stuck in floods triggered by heavy rains on Saturday.
Rescue workers pulled out 12 bodies and were searching for the missing people in Rajampet area.
The buses were stuck in flood waters in Mandpalle, Akepadu and Nandaluru villages. The passengers along with drivers and conductors had climbed on the top of the buses. While some were rescued by the local residents, 30 people were feared washed away.
Analysts say unpredictable and extreme weather across South Asia is driven by climate change, exacerbated by damming, deforestation and excessive development.
Dozens have died since October in India after heavy rains triggered floods and landslides, and the country's Met office said more heavy rains were expected in several southern areas on Saturday.
At least 42 people were killed last month when heavy rains pummelled Kerala, and on Friday authorities in the state halted entry to Sabarimala, one of Hinduism's holiest shrines, due to heavy rains in the area.
Hundreds of devotees have been making the trek to Sabarimala since the shrine opened last week for the annual two-month-long pilgrimage season.
Rising water levels in the Pamba river, considered holy by the pilgrims, forced officials to stop devotees for a day, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported Saturday.