Heavy rain disrupts daily life in Uttarakhand, Himachal; Assam flood situation remains grim

In Uttarakhand, which has received heavy rain over the past few days, a five-year-old drowned in a rainwater-filled pit in Dehradun and a teenager in a Haridwar rivulet.
Last Updated : 06 July 2024, 02:34 IST

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New Delhi: Heavy rain disrupted daily life in vast swathes of north India, including Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, on Friday while the flood situation in Assam remained grim with major rivers flowing above the danger mark and nearly 24 lakh people affected.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited several flood-hit areas in Dibrugarh, one of the 30 affected districts in the state, which is reeling from the worst deluge in recent years.

In Uttarakhand, which has received heavy rain over the past few days, a five-year-old drowned in a rainwater-filled pit in Dehradun and a teenager in a Haridwar rivulet.

Daily life was disrupted in the hill state as the rain triggered numerous landslides, blocking key roads, including the national highway leading to Badrinath.

Heavy rain also lashed several parts of Himachal Pradesh, leading to the closure of 64 roads. The regional Met office warned of moderate flash flood risk in few areas of Kangra, Kullu, Kinnaur, Mandi, Sirmaur and Shimla districts in the next 24 hours.

In Rajasthan, heavy rain continued to batter the state with Malpura in Tonk district recording 176 mm rainfall in a 24-hour period.

In Assam, 77 wild animals have died -- either due to drowning or during treatment -- while 94 have been rescued from the flooded Kaziranga National Park as on Friday, an official said.

The flood situation was critical with nearly 24 lakh people affected in 30 districts and all major rivers flowing above the danger mark.

Chief Minister Sarma reviewed the situation in Dibrugarh town, which has been under water and facing severe power shortages for the past eight days. He visited some areas on foot and interacted with the people.

Two persons, including a child, were killed and another was injured in a landslide following incessant rainfall in the Dispur area of Kamrup Metropolitan district, taking the death toll in this year's floods, landslides and storms to 64.

No fresh casualty, however, was reported due to the floods, with the number of people losing lives only due to the deluge remaining at 52.

Dhubri is the worst-hit district with 6.48 lakh people affected, followed by Darrang with 1.90 lakh people and Cachar with 1.45 lakh.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has set up a 24x7 flood control room to monitor real-time data from the Hathnikund barrage from where water is released in the Yamuna to Delhi.

"Last year, the Yamuna reached its highest level in 70 years. The Delhi government is gearing up to tackle any possibility of floods. The control room is in touch with officials at Hathnikund barrage from where Yamuna river discharge is received. After the release of one lakh cusecs of water, relief and rescue machinery starts working," said Atishi, the city government's water minister.

Saurabh Bharadwaj, the irrigation and flood control minister, said the control room would monitor data in real time and be entirely computerised.

As soon as more than one lakh cusecs of water is released from the barrage, all agencies -- including the flood control department -- will be activated, Aitshi said.

The Met office has predicted generally cloudy skies with light rain, accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning, on Saturday. It has also forecast heavy rainfall during the next four to five days.

In Uttarakhand, meanwhile, the State Emergency Operation Centre said landslides had blocked 88 rural motorable roads, two border roads, one state highway and the national highway leading to the Badrinath temple.

The Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway was blocked at Lambagad -- an area highly vulnerable to landslides.

In Rudraprayag district, debris from a landslide blocked the opening of an old tunnel on Friday. However, no casualties were reported, Superintendent of Police Vishakha Ashok Bhadane said.

Continuous intermittent heavy rain in Dehradun had left many roads waterlogged.

Neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, meanwhile, has already received 59 per cent excess rain in July at 43.2 mm against a normal of 27.2 mm.

Sixty-four roads -- 55 in Mandi, seven in Chamba and one each in Kangra and Shimla districts -- are closed for traffic following torrential rain, the emergency operation centre said.

The Met office in Shimla has issued a 'yellow' alert for heavy rain, thunderstorm and lightning at isolated places on Saturday.

In Rajasthan's Bikaner, a toddler was among three people killed in a wall collapse following heavy rain while three people were rescued after being stuck while crossing a stream overflowing with rainwater in Tonk.

Light to moderate rain was recorded in many districts, including Jaipur, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Kota, Chittorgarh, Jhunjhunu, Alwar, Udaipur and Jodhpur on Friday, a spokesperson for the Jaipur Meteorological Centre said.

The heavy rain in Tonk on Friday caused rivers and streams to overflow. The increased inflow also caused the water level in many dams to rise.

In the Namokiya village of the Malpura area in Tonk, three people on a tractor were stuck in the fast-flowing water while crossing a stream. They were rescued by police, Malpura SHO Chenaram said.

In Bikaner district's Bichwal area, three people, including a toddler, were crushed to death after a factory wall collapsed amid heavy rain.

Bichwal SHO Naresh Kumar said two workers and a child died after being trapped under the debris.

The victims have been identified as Madhya Pradesh natives Pinna, Sanjay and one-year-old Manisha.

A circulation system over southwestern Uttar Pradesh and adjoining eastern Rajasthan contributed to the heavy rain, with the monsoon trough line passing through Bikaner and Sikar.

Rain-drenched northern West Bengal is likely to receive more showers till July 9, the Met office said.

A trough from Rajasthan to the northeast and an active monsoon over northern West Bengal is likely to bring heavy rainfall in the region, it said.

Heavy to very heavy rain with extremely heavy rain in one or two places is likely in the sub-Himalayan districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Coochbehar, the Met said in a special bulletin.

The downpour may cause landslides in the hill districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong and waterlogging of low-lying areas in the plains.

Water levels of rivers such as Teesta, Jaldhaka, Sankosh and Torsa may rise owing to heavy rain, it added.

Meghalaya received 44 per cent excess rains in the last one month, causing large-scale damage to public infrastructure and upending the lives of people, officials said.

The state received 117.32 cm of rain between June 1 and July 3, which was 44 per cent higher than normal, a senior disaster management official said.

"The southern districts of the state are the worst affected," he said.

Published 06 July 2024, 02:34 IST

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