Several states across the country continue to grapple with heavy rainfall and floods as parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh are likely to receive heavy rainfall on 20 August (Tuesday). So far, around 40 deaths have occurred due to heavy downpour in northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand. While a flood-like situation prevails in several parts of Punjab, Harayana, Jammu and Delhi as the Yamuna river on Monday crossed the "warning mark" of 204.50 metres.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), 'heavy' to 'very heavy' rainfall is expected in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi till Tuesday.
Heavy rain in northern parts of the country has claimed at least 58 lives in the last two days, according to NDTV. Several landslides in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand left tourists and residents stranded in some villages. Officials said many of them have been rescued, though hundreds of tourists are still stranded in Himachal Pradesh.
Although rain subsided across the region on Monday, rivers in several parts of the region are overflowing, officials said. Thirty-two people have died and eight are missing in Uttarakhand, while 26 have died in Himachal Pradesh.
Indian Air Force helicopters carried dramatic rescue operations in Jammu and Karnal districts on Monday, and the administration was on alert in parts of Haryana and Punjab. Although the rainfall had subsided across the region on Monday, rivers in several parts of the region were in spate on Monday.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday said that heavy rainfall will continue to batter isolated places of Uttarakhand for the next three days.
In capital city Dehradun, the sky will generally be cloudy with minimum and maximum temperatures hovering around 24° Celsius and 32° Celsius.
#Uttarakhand: According to Chief Minister's office, three choppers are deployed to transport relief material from Dehradun/Arakot to affected villages. Drinking water and food packets are being dispatched.
— ANI (@ANI) August 20, 2019
It should be noted that flash floods in Mori region of Uttarakhand have wreaked havoc with several hundred hectares of agricultural land damaged along with dozens of cattle likely dead as rescue operations are still on following Monday's cloudburst.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) conducted search and rescue operation for missing people in Tikochi and Arakot village, following a cloudburst and heavy rainfall in the area.
The ITBP conducted the operation in Tikochi and Arakot village, Uttarkashi district on the banks of river Tons today morning.
According to the Secretary (Incharge) Disaster Management, S A Murugesan, 17 people were reported dead in the cloudburst in Mori tehsil as on Monday. According to ITBP, one body has been recovered under the debris.
Tikochi is the transportation point for goods' vehicles from where local apple is loaded for further supplies. As many as 10 vehicles were reportedly stationed when the cloudburst occurred. It is said that the staff were sleeping inside the vehicles when the landslide and sudden flash flood struck. While four vehicles are reportedly expected to be trapped inside the debris, two vehicles were washed away and yet to be traced.
Uttarakhand reeled under a flood-like situation on Monday after several rivers like the Beas were in spate in the state. Search and rescue operations were hampered on Sunday due to bad weather even as at least three people were killed in rain-related incidents.
Indian Air Force chopper took off from Jollygrant for Mori block in Uttarkashi carrying food material today morning.
For relief and rescue operation in the affected areas of Mori Tehsil of the district, the state government had pressed two helicopters into action that reached the village with communication equipment and ropes on Monday morning. Makuri, Tikochi, Arakot are the most affected villages in Mori area. The Relief teams were facing problem reaching the area due to damaged roads, an official said.
Medical teams are currently operating in Arokot from Naugaon and Purola areas to deal with the medical emergencies.
The administration is also distributing relief material in the area and has started working to restore a bridge and wireless tower to resume communication in the region, an official said.
On Sunday, police had recovered bodies of six people including a Nepali national in the border area of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarkashi.
A cloudburst had hit Mori Tehsil in Uttarkashi district on Sunday, prompting the state government to dispatch teams of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to carry out rescue and evacuation operations
Uttarakhand: Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is conducting search & rescue operation in Tikochi and Arakot in Uttarkashi district on the banks of river Tons, following cloudburst in the area. One body recovered, 4 vehicles feared trapped under debris. pic.twitter.com/Jk7iaOA9vX
— ANI (@ANI) August 20, 2019
Apart from Uttarakhand, heavy rainfall is likely over Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar for next two days.
Strong winds, speed reaching 45 to 55 kilometres per hour, are very likely to prevail over southwest Bay of Bengal. The IMD has advised fishermen not to venture into these areas for the next few days.
The death toll in Himachal Pradesh rose to 25 on Monday with three more people losing their lives due to the rains, which the weather office predicted will continue over on to Tuesday.
Heavy rains have lashed the state since Saturday, causing floods, collapsing houses and triggering landslides that have stranded hundreds of people. The rains have so far caused damage adding up to Rs 574 crore, according to a state government spokesperson.
The National Highway 3 (Manali-Leh) was blocked on Tuesday after a landslide occurred in Marhi near Rohtang, Kullu district.
Himachal Pradesh: National Highway 3 (Manali-Leh) blocked after a landslide occurred in Marhi near Rohtang, Kullu district. An oil tanker got stuck under a boulder following the landslide. pic.twitter.com/RQ6pSDk1ef
— ANI (@ANI) August 20, 2019
The Himachal Pradesh government, on Tuesday, has released Rs 15 crore to different departments for undertaking restoration works after torrential rains wreaked havoc during the last two days in the state.
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur made the statement while addressing the Deputy Commissioners through video conferencing from Shimla on Monday, read a statement.
He said that as many as 25 people lost their lives in the state due to heavy rains during the last two days. Thakur said that the state has suffered total losses of about Rs 574 crore during the current monsoon.
Himachal Pradesh: Flooding in parts of Una district following heavy rainfall in the state. (19/8/2019) pic.twitter.com/tkR7G9PFcK
— ANI (@ANI) August 20, 2019
The chief minister said that the state government has released Rs 10 crore to the Public Works Department, four crores to the Irrigation and Public Health department and one crore to HPSEBL for undertaking restoration works. He directed the Deputy Commissioners of the state to immediately assess the damages in their respective districts and submit the report to the government at the earliest, the statement added.
The chief minister said that the district administrations must also ensure that the locals and tourists do not venture near river beds as a sudden rise in water level could be dangerous. He said that debris and blockage from major National Highways such as Kalka-Shimla and Pathankot- Mandi-Manali must be cleared at the earliest so as to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
DC Chamba said that all precautionary steps would be taken during the Manimahesh Yatra. DC Bilaspur apprised the chief minister that 140 roads in the district got damaged and one death was reported due to rains during the last two days. DC Mandi said that efforts would be made to restore the Mandi-Manali Highway to facilitate the tourists and general commuters."
On Monday, a bridge over Sutlej river collapses in Himachal Pradesh due to heavy rains and rising water levels of the river.
The Indian Meteorological Department in Himachal on Monday said that the state received the highest ever rainfall for a 24-hour period since records began almost 70 years ago. "The state as a whole received 102.5 mm and this was 1,065 per cent more than normal for this day," the IMD said in a statement.
This is the highest-ever rainfall in 24 hours over the state, it added. The higher reaches of Kullu, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts experienced snowfall. Keylong town in Lahaul-Spiti district too saw snow. There was no major rainfall in the state in the past 12 hours. Light to moderate rainfall was likely at some places till Tuesday, a Met Department official told reporters.
According to the MeT Department, the humidity level recorded at 8.30 am on Tuesday morning was 85 per cent and has predicted light rains in some areas of the city later in the day. It was a partly cloudy Tuesday morning in the city, with the minimum temperature settling at 25.6 degrees Celsius, one notch below the season's average.
"The skies will turn cloudy in the afternoon and the maximum temperature is expected to settle at 35 degrees Celsius," he said
The water level in the Yamuna river on Tuesday morning crossed "danger mark" as Haryana released more water from Hathni Kund barrage. The river was flowing at 205.94 meters, 0.61 meters above the "danger mark" of 205.33 meters. The water level is expected to rise further as Haryana released 1.43 lakh cusec water on Monday evening.
Delhi: Water level of Yamuna river rises to 205.94 meters, 0.61 meters above the danger level of 205.33 meters. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/bLcnkDLQeQ
— ANI (@ANI) August 20, 2019
The chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, had chaired a high-level meeting of Cabinet ministers and officers of concerned departments to take stock of preparedness for any situation arising out of incoming excess water in the river.
After meeting, he urged the people living on the Yamuna floodplains and low-lying areas to move to safer places.
As a precautionary measure, vehicular movement on 'Loha Pul', an old iron bridge over the river connecting East Delhi to Old Delhi, was closed in view of the increasing water level.
The Yamuna level is expectedly going to rise to 207 metres due to the latest discharge from the barrage as the highest amount of water, 8,28,000 cusec, was released in the history of Hathni Kund barrage on Sunday.
The Delhi government has set up 2,120 tents for 23860 people who are expected to be affected due to the excess water resulting in Yamuna's overflow.
The Delhi government on Sunday had issued a flood alert and asked people living in low-lying areas to move to safer places as the water level in the Yamuna river was expected to cross the danger mark. The Yamuna was flowing at 204.7 metres on Monday and officials said that the water level was expected to rise up to 207 metres as 8.28 lakh cusecs water was released from Haryana's Hathini Kund barrage.
The East Delhi district had directed all sub-divisional magistrates to evacuate people from low-lying areas with the help of Delhi Police and civil defence volunteers by 9 am on Monday.
No fresh spell of rainfall was reported on Tuesday morning in Punjab and Haryana, though a flood-like situation prevailed in many parts of both the states after heavy rains over the past few days.
Although the water-level has started receding in some of the affected areas, many villages in Ludhiana, Rupnagar and Jalandhar remained inundated because of breaches in earthen dams of the Sutlej river.
There was no report of rainfall on Tuesday morning in any part of Punjab and Haryana. The weather was clear in most parts of both the states, an official of the Meteorological (MeT) Department said here.
Following heavy rains in past few days and release of excess water from the Bhakra Dam, the swollen Sutlej river and its tributaries had inundated villages in several areas, including Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Ferozepur and Rupnagar, causing extensive damage to crops, especially paddy, and houses in low-lying areas.
Rescue operations were being carried out in the affected villages by teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF), which were assisted by district authorities in the affected areas, officials said.
In Jalandhar, the deputy commissioner along with the senior superintendent of police took stock of the situation on Tuesday morning in Mandala village where people were being rescued with the help of the NDRF, they said, adding that boats were pressed into service to evacuate villagers from flood-hit areas.
Due to breaches in earthen dams of the Sutlej river, Phillaur, Shahkot and Lohian Khas in Jalandhar were flooded.
District authorities in the affected areas have set up relief camps in order to evacuate stranded villagers to safer places, the officials said. They said all arrangements, including food and water, have been made there.
The government in Punjab has declared the flood situation as a natural calamity and chief minister Amarinder Singh has allocated Rs. 100 crore relief to the affected districts in the state on Monday.
Punjab: Flooding in Lodhipur village of Anandpur Sahib due to incessant rainfall in the state. Locals say, "houses in the low lying areas of our village have been flooded. Our crops have been damaged." (19/8/2019) pic.twitter.com/0RlSVqw5Py
— ANI (@ANI) August 20, 2019
Amarinder Singh visited IIT Ropar earlier on Monday to assess the damage due to floods. "We are making arrangements for the transportation of students and their board and lodging in Kisan Bhawan, Chandigarh. Have deputed divisional commissioner to coordinate the relief work," he tweeted. Heavy rains in the region led to the flooding of River Satluj, submerging parts of IIT Roorkee campus and nearby villages.
An NDRF official told ANI on Monday evening that three of the force's teams were engaged in flood rescue operations, while five to six teams were kept on standby. "Since morning we have rescued 40 people and eight animals in Bholeval Kadim village. About 150 people in the village are waiting to be rescued," he said.
Inspector NDRF, Ludhiana, Punjab: 3 teams are engaged in flood rescue, 5-6 teams on standby, in Ludhiana. Since morning we have evacuated 40 people and 8 animals in Bholeval Kadim village. About 150 people in the village are waiting to be rescued. pic.twitter.com/M3ThDENokT
— ANI (@ANI) August 19, 2019
The Bhakra Beas Management Board authorities on Monday had decided to increase the release of excess water through spillway gates from 19,000 cusecs to 41,000 cusecs after water level in the Bhakra Dam crossed its permissible limit of 1,680 feet.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Aug 20, 2019 13:01:10 IST