Damaged vehicles lie in debris after a landslide caused by torrential monsoon rains at Puthumala near Meppadi, Wayanad

New Delhi - Flood warnings were sounded in parts of northern India on Sunday as the nationwide death toll in monsoon rains surpassed 1,000.

India's monsoon season from June to September brings rains that support the livelihood of farmers but can bring death and destruction.

The death toll from rain-related incidents across the country from June to August 15 had reached 1,058 in India's nine worst-affected states, according to federal Home Ministry data.

More than 18 million people have been affected by the floods across vast swathes of the country.

The western state of Maharashtra saw the highest death toll, recording 245 deaths.

Most deaths were caused by drowning, wall collapses and landslides. Some lost their lives to electric shocks and snake bites, officials said.

Fresh flood warnings were issued Sunday by authorities in the northern hill state of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab.

These areas saw heavy rainfall over the past 48 hours, with the Meteorological Department forecasting more showers over the next two days.

Landslides had blocked several roads in Himachal Pradesh, including a key highway.

Excess water released into rivers from dams in Himachal Pradesh were likely to flood lower areas in the state as well as neighbouring Punjab, an official at the state's disaster management unit said.

Eleven districts in drought-prone Rajasthan had received more than average rain this season, leading several rivers and canals to flood, NDTV news channel reported.

dpa