Collapse of structures due to rains leave 12 dead

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Heavy rains flooded hundreds of homes, caused power outages and collapsed structures in northern India, where 12 deaths and more injuries were reported, authorities said on Friday.

Schools were closed on Friday in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state, where the meteorological agency recorded 35 millimeters (1.4 inches) of torrential rain in the past 24 hours, said Brijesh Pathak, the region's deputy prime minister.

A wall collapsed at dawn on a hut made of polyethylene sheets and mud where some workers slept, in the Hazratganj area of ​​the city. Nine people died on the spot and three others were hospitalized with injuries, Pathak added.

In Unnao, a town 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Lucknow, another three people were killed when a house collapsed after torrential rains, the official said.

Earlier this month, two days of torrential downpours brought life to a standstill in the southern city of Bengaluru, which suffered long traffic jams, widespread power cuts and severe flooding that swept away homes and swamped roads.

Neighbors had to use tractors to get to work and boats were mobilized to rescue those who were trapped in Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka state. The two areas that make up the city, urban and rural, recorded an increase in rainfall of 141% and 114%, respectively, on the wettest September day in the last eight years.

In South Asia, the monsoon rains usually begin in June. But this year, heavy downpours have hit northeastern India and Bangladesh since March, and by April had already caused flooding in Bangladesh.

The monsoon season, which ends in October, leaves hundreds dead and tens of thousands homeless each year.

The climate of the Indian subcontinent is changing due to climate change. Scientists also say that it is responsible for the fact that extreme events, such as intense downpours, are now commonplace. According to experts, the increase in temperatures makes the monsoon more variable and a large part of the rains that fell throughout the season are concentrated in a shorter period of time.

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