Rain claims 7 lives in UP, four in Himachal

Rain claims 7 lives in UP, four in Himachal

Seven people were killed in house collapses in Uttar Pradesh, while four were feared dead in flash floods in the Dharampur area of Himachal Pradesh's Mandi district on Saturday.

Meanwhile, an all-party meeting in West Bengal on the prevailing flood situation failed to reach a consensus on the mode of relief distribution.

Heavy rain led to two house collapses in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district, trapping several people. Seven bodies, including those of a woman and a child, were later extracted from the debris.There were also reports of house collapse in some other parts of the state.

Fresh rain has once again caused rivers in the state to swell, said sources, adding that waters of the Ghaghra, Sharda and Ramganga have inundated large tracts of agricultural lands in Lakhimpur-Kheri, Baharaich, Gonda and other districts, forcing thousands of people to flee to safer places.

The toll in flood and rain-related incidents in the state has reached 65. In Himachal Pradesh, cloudburst-triggered flash floods wreaked havoc in Dharampur, killing four, inundating vast areas, washing away vehicles and perishing several heads of cattle.

Three of a family were feared to have been buried alive after their house collapsed due to a landslide, while an ascetic was washed away in the gushing water of the swollen Son Khud, a tributary of the Beas river, said the police. About a dozen people waiting at Dharampur bus stand had to rush to the first floor as Son Khud's water entered the stand, besides inundating shops and houses. Three buses were damaged and three cars were washed away. Local people were engaged in rescue and relief works. The strong water current, however, hampered rescue operations.

The local administration has geared up the machinery to speed up relief and rescue operations. Heavy rain blocked the Manali-Kiratpur national highway at some places, while the Dharampur-Harsipattan road was also damaged at some places. In Kolkata, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and leaders of other parties failed to reach a consensus in an all-party meeting on the mode of relief distribution.

It has been decided that the parties will discuss the issue further on August 18. Opposition parties in the Left and the BJP criticised the idea of the meeting from the moment Banerjee called for it. While the Left believes all parties  should have been involved, the BJP wants all-party observation teams to visit relief camps.

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