180 dead in Indian floods

Large areas of India’s fourth-largest city are under water after the heaviest rains in more than century. Diane Hodges reports.

Thousands of people are fleeing their homes in Chennai, India’s fourth-largest city.

Hundreds of army rescue teams have been rescuing victims, but more than 180 people have died in the floods.

The heaviest rains in more than a century have also flooded one runway at the international airport, forcing airlines to cancel flights.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is blaming the record-setting rain on climate change.

The problem has been exacerbated by a recent land reclamation project, according to Rakesh Kamal with the Center for Science and the Environment.

RAKESH KAMAL WITH THE CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT,

“Chennai, even on a normal course, is only around six meters above sea level but its natural lakes helped the water drain out in the past. But with them being closed, we’ll only be seeing more and more rainfall like this happening in the future. We better start worrying about it. We have to prepare our infrastructure and also be ready with our climate change plans.”

And the current crisis is far from over.

Up to 41 inches more rain is expected before the storms pass, meaning it could be days before residents can go home and begin the long process of cleaning up.

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