With monsoon engulfing India two weeks ahead of schedule, rain lashed several parts of the country on Friday, triggering landslides in some hill states. Four troops of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police were killed in Arunachal Pradesh, and heavy showers stalled the Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.
Monsoon reached Sriganganagar in West Rajasthan — its last outpost in the country — on Friday. The rains usually reach Sriganganagar on 15 July. "The monsoon [on Friday] covered the entire country," said Mritunjay Mohapatra, additional director general of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
Here is a look at how the rains affected other states in the country in the last two days:
Showers in Delhi
The monsoon arrived in the national capital on Thursday. Residents in New Delhi can expect rainfall on Saturday, but the maximum temperature could still touch 35 degrees Celsius, the IMD said. The IMD has forecast rais and thundershowers in a few areas.
"The maximum temperature will be around 35 degrees Celsius, a notch below normal, and the minimum temperature is expected to settle at 27.5 degrees Celsius," a met official said. The humidity level is expected to be around 79 percent.
On Friday evening, the showers in Delhi pushed the humidity up to 90 percent, even as the mercury settled marginally below normal. The monsoon winds blew away the dust from Delhi's air, and the city breathed the cleanest air in nearly a year, authorities said.
On Friday, Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) was at a "satisfactory" 83. It touched this level on Wednesday after heavy pre-monsoon showers, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board.
An AQI in the 0-50 range is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401-500 "severe".
Flood alert sounded in Jammu and Kashmir
Intermittent rain continued in the state on Saturday. Authorities sounded a flood alert in Central Kashmir, even as water levels began to recede in southern parts of the Valley.
While authorities had issued a flood alert in South Kashmir on Friday, they issued an alert for low-lying areas of Central Kashmir, including in Srinagar, a day later. People have been asked to stay vigilant and prepared for evacuation.
Schools across the Valley were also closed on Saturday in view of the inclement weather.
"The gauge at Ram Munshi Bagh crossed the flood declaration level of 18 feet and was flowing at 20.87 feet at 10 am (on Saturday)," an official of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department said, adding that residents of areas along the embankments of Jhelum river and other streams and in low-lying areas of Central Kashmir were advised to be alert. "The staff deputed on flood duty in Central Kashmir have been directed to report to their sectors and beats."
In South Kashmir, the water level crossed the flood declaration level of 21 feet in Sangam in Anantnag district, after which the flood alert was sounded. While the water level in Sangam at 9 am was 23.16 feet — above the critical mark — it began to recede later. At 10 am on Saturday, it was at 23.06 feet.
It has been raining heavily in the Valley for the past three days, and the downpour intensified in several parts of the state, including in Stinagar, on Friday. The rising water levels induced fear of a rerun of the 2014 floods among residents of the Valley. The 2014 deluge had caused widespread devastation and left over 300 persons dead.
An official of the met department said the weather was likely to improve on Saturday.
In Jammu, the temperature dipped further at night as rainfall lashed parts of the state for a third consecutive day on Friday, according to the weather department. The maximum temperature in the city was 28 degrees Celsius, 9.7 notches below the season's average.
The weatherman also said that the Batote region along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway received 132.4 millimetres of rainfall in 33 hours, ending 5.30 pm on Friday.
Heavy rain had triggered the fresh landslide in Gangroo near Ramsu along the 260-kilometre-long highway — the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir with rest of the country.
Amarnath Yatra resumes
The Amarnath Yatra resumed on Saturday afternoon from the Pahalgam and Baltal routes after the weather cleared up, reported ANI. The pilgrimage had to be suspended from both routes due to bad weather and heavy rainfall in the Valley.
The Baltal route from Srinagar is 14 kilometres long, and the route from Pahalgam from Jammu is 32 kilometres long. Nearly 1,300 pilgrims paid obeisance at the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in the Himalayas in South Kashmir on Friday, an official said.
A landslide blocked the Jammu-Srinagar national highway late on Friday afternoon, leaving hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying Amarnath pilgrims to the base camps in the Valley, stranded, a police officer said.
Rain, thundershower forecast in Bihar
The met office forecast said Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur and Purnea may receive one or two spells of rain or thundershowers on Saturday.
On Friday, a weather bulletin said that light to moderate rainfall occurred in one or two places in Bihar in 24 hours.
Patna witnessed a cloudy sky for a major part of the day, coupled with a trace of rainfall, which brought some relief to residents. Bhagalpur and Suryagarha (Lakhisarai) received 3 centimetres of rainfall, while Manihari (Katihar) received 2 centimetres of rainfall in 24 hours, the bulletin said.
Four ITBP personnel killed in Arunachal Pradesh
Meanwhile, in Lower Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, four ITBP personnel were crushed to death after a boulder, loosened by monsoon rains, rolled down a mountain and hit their vehicle on Basar-Akajan Road on Friday, the police said.
The incident occurred 5 kilometres from Likabali, the district headquarters of Lower Siang, when they were heading there from Basar in West Siang district. The boulder rolled down the mountain slope and smashed their mini bus, which had 20 ITBP personnel on board.
This is the second landslide-related incident in the state in five days. So far this monsoon, nine people have died due to landslides.
Meanwhile, the Manali-Leh National Highway-3 was blocked after heavy rainfall triggered a landslide in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district on Friday. An official said efforts are underway to clear the road.
Toll rises to 32 in Assam
The flood situation has worsened in one of the six affected districts of Assam. Another death on Friday took the toll to 32.
Floodwaters washed away one person in the state's Upper Assams Charaideo district, where the situation began to deteriorate on Thursday due to incessant rain, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority said in a report.
As many as 67,976 people have been affected by floods in six districts of Assam, with Charaideo having the largest affected population of 35,429.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jun 30, 2018 16:15 PM