Rain fury rocks North India


The weather office has predicted more rain for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Delhi and its adjoining areas…reports Asian Lite News

Heavy rains in several parts of north India has disrupted lives of lakhs of people who live in the region. Several towns and cities remain inundated in waist-deep water as incessant rains lash Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the situation as landslides and flash floods, and held talks with the chief ministers of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. He has assured help to both the states on behalf of the central government.

“Spoke to senior Ministers and officials, and took stock of the situation in the wake of excessive rainfall in parts of India. Local administrations, NDRF and SDRF teams are working to ensure the well-being of those affected,” PMO said in a tweet.

The weather office has predicted more rain for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Delhi and its adjoining areas.

In worst-hit Himachal Pradesh, a red alert has been sounded and all schools and colleges will remain closed for two days. All major rivers are in spate, bringing normal life to a standstill. Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has urged people to stay home for the next 24 hours and cooperate with authorities.

Frightening images of the chaos unleashed by the rain — cars floating like paper boats on flooded roads, muddy waters gushing into residential areas, temples and other structures submerged on the banks by the swollen rivers — were shared online by people from Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi.

In cities and towns across the region, many roads and residential areas were submerged in knee-deep water.

Red alert in Himachal

Himachal Pradesh, the worst hit among all, has recorded a monetary loss of Rs 785.51 crore. In a statement issued by Himachal Pradesh state authorities on Monday, the death toll in the state has been reported at 72, with 8 people missing and 92 injured. 39 landslide incidents have been reported, along with 1 cloud burst and 29 flash floods, the report stated.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for 10 of 12 Himachal districts including Mandi, Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Chamba, Kangra and Kullu. All major rivers, including Ravi, Beas, Satluj, Swan and Chenab are in spate.

Solan received 135 mm of rain on Sunday, breaking a 50-year-old record of 105 mm of rain in a day in 1971, while Una received the highest rainfall since 1993.

Officials said rail operations on the Shimla-Kalka route, a UNESCO world heritage site, have been suspended till tomorrow as landslides blocked the track at several places.

“We have rescued 80 people today. The situation is bad as the water level of the river is rising. Our team is on alert and we are reviewing the areas alongside the river Beas,” SSP Mandi, Soumya Sambasivan said.

‘Flood unlikely in Delhi’

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today chaired a high-level meeting to discuss waterlogging caused by rain in the city and Yamuna’s rising water levels. He said flooding was unlikely in the national capital. Kejriwal said, if needed, the administration will shift the people from low-lying areas to safe spots as the water level of the Yamuna River is set to cross the danger mark by tomorrow. A total of 16 control rooms are active in Delhi.

“As per CWC, River Yamuna river flowing at 203.58 metres in Delhi. It is expected to reach 205.5 metres tomorrow morning. Also, according to weather predictions, the water level in Yamuna is not expected to rise too high. If Yamuna crosses the 206 metre mark, then we will start evacuation along the banks of the river,” he detailed.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Uttarakhand, an orange alert was sounded in all districts as water levels rose in all major rivers, including the Ganga. More showers are likely in the next two days.

At least nine people have been killed in rain-related incidents across the state. On Sunday, three pilgrims drowned in the Ganga after their jeep fell into the river amid a landslide near Gular on the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway.

Red alert in Ladakh

Two people were killed in Jammu and Kashmir after a landslide hit a passenger bus in Doda district, while in Ladakh’s Kargil district, a man was killed after his vehicle got crushed under a boulder that rolled down a hillock along the Leh-Srinagar national highway.

There were also reports of snowfall from high-altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh, where a red alert has been issued for heavy rain.

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