At least 28 people were killed and dozens were reported missing as heavy rain lashed Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab on Sunday, NDTV reported. A flood alert was issued in parts of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh as the Yamuna and other rivers flowed close to the danger mark.
The casualties in the north Indian states came even as states in the south such as Kerala and Karnataka reeled in the aftermath of heavy rains. According to latest reports, the toll in Kerala has climbed to 116 while 76 people were reportedly killed in the Karnataka floods.
In Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla, Solan, Bilaspur and Kullu districts, schools and colleges were ordered to remain shut on Monday. More than 500 people were stranded in several parts of the state cut off by landslides, PTI reported. Efforts are on to clear the roads and restore traffic to move them to safer places. As many as 887 roads, including 13 national highways, are fully or partially blocked because of landslides.
The National Disaster Relief Force is diverting water accumulated in Kangra district’s Nurpur subdivision by digging an alternative route, according to an official. Multiple landslides blocked the flow of water in streams and formed a big artificial lake in Khadetar village. Villagers in Trindi, Danni, Mairka, Lador, Thana, Hindorghaat, Letri and Jassur have been asked to vacate their homes.
The director of Shimla Met centre, Manmohan Singh, said light to moderate rainfall would occur at many places in the state till Tuesday while heavy rain was expected at isolated places.
On Sunday, 25 tourists, including a foreigner, were rescued after being left stranded for more than two days in Kullu without food or shelter.
The India Meteorological Department office in the state said the state had received the highest-ever rainfall for a 24-hour period since records began almost seven decades ago, Hindustan Times reported. “The state as a whole received 102.5 mm and this was 1,065% more than normal,” the Met department added.
At least seven people were killed and 20 were rescued across Uttarakhand as heavy rainfall continued. Uttarkashi, the worst-hit district, has received about 200 mm of rain since Saturday. Heavy rainfall has been predicted in Chamoli, Pithoragarh, Dehradun, Pauri and Nainital districts till Wednesday.
The Tons river washed away almost 20 homes on Sunday, forcing the government to deploy the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force. Ten people were reported missing after cloudbursts damaged several homes in Arakot, Makuri and Tikochi villages.
At least three people were killed and two were injured in three different accidents in Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal and Nainital districts.
Punjab and Haryana
The situation looked grim in Punjab and Haryana as well even though the India Meteorological Department said no heavy rainfall was reported in most parts of the two states on Monday morning, PTI reported.
The Haryana government has asked the Army to remain on standby. The Air Force rescued nine persons stuck in Karnal district because of the sudden rise in the Yamuna’s water level, PTI quoted Haryana’s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk as saying.
In Punjab’s Rupnagar and Nawanshahr districts, educational institutions have been instructed to remain shut on Monday, The Tribune reported. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh declared on Monday that Rs 100 crore would be provided for emergency relief and rehabilitation in the areas affected due to floods, according to ANI.
On Sunday, at least 12 trains were cancelled after rainwater flooded railway tracks in Ropar town. The Sutlej inundated the homes of several slum dwellers on the outskirts of the town. Almost one dozen villages were evacuated near Budhki and Sarsa rivers. In Patiala, 32 schools have been already closed following heavy rainfall. At least three members of a family were killed in Aol village near Khanna town when the roof of their home collapsed.
In Uttar Pradesh, rivers such as the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Ghaghra are in spate. The Ganga is flowing above the danger mark in Badaun, Garhmukteshwar, Naraura and Farrukhabad, reported Hindustan Times.
National Capital Region
The Delhi government issued an advisory as the Yamuna flowed close to the danger mark after more than 8-lakh cusecs of water was released from the Hathni Kund barrage. According to ANI, the river water was at the 205-metre mark on Monday afternoon, 0.5 metres above the danger level. Authorities have stopped vehicle movement on “Loha Pul [old iron bridge]”, the news agency added.
“Water level in the Yamuna is rising due to heavy rain as well as release of water from the Hathini Kund barrage,” District Magistrate (East) Deepak Shinde said on Sunday night. “The water level may rise up to 207 metres by 10 am on Monday at the Old Railway Bridge, putting life and property at risk.”
The district magistrates asked authorities to make preparations for complete evacuation” of those living on the Yamuna floodplains by Monday 9 am, and shift them to relief camps, Hindustan Times reported. “Tents are being erected and the work will go on for the night so that all arrangements are ready when the full-fledged evacuation process starts on Monday morning,” said Vivek Vihar (Shahdara district) Sub-Divisional Magistrate Rajesh Choudhary. “Also, we have deployed civil defence volunteers to monitor the water levels during the night and alarm people immediately to vacate the area.”