New Delhi: A woman was swept away in a river in Uttarakhand and two men died in a road accident on a damaged bridge in West Bengal as heavy rains lashed large parts of the country on Tuesday, while the NDRF rescued 60 more people in flood-hit Bihar.
However, Delhi and some neighbouring states experienced sultry weather conditions as monsoon remained subdued in the region. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the National Capital, recorded a maximum temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal.
The maximum temperature oscillated between 37 and 39 degrees Celsius in most parts of the city. Humidity levels shot up to 95 percent, causing inconvenience to residents.
However, the weatherman has forecast moderate to heavy rains for Wednesday and Thursday.
In Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh, a woman from Metli village was swept away by swirling waters of Gori river as torrential rains lashed Bangapani sub-division of the district, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) AK Shukla said. Another woman from Jara Jibli village is missing, he said.
"The rains also washed away the bridge at Lumti on Jauljibi-Munsiyari road resulting in over 40 villages of Munsiyari region being cut off from the district headquarters," the SDM said.
Teams of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), revenue police and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been rushed to the affected villages to undertake relief and rescue work, he said.
In West Bengal, the arterial National Highway 31 was damaged by incessant rains in Dooars region, cutting off the direct road connectivity with Siliguri. The region has been lashed by heavy rains since Monday night. A bridge over Juranti Khola in Jalpaiguri's Bagrakote on NH 31 was damaged due to heavy rains, police said.
The driver and the helper of a pickup truck, which was headed towards Siliguri from Assam, were killed in an accident on the bridge, they said. "Probably, the driver could not see the damage on the bridge amid the rain and that led to the accident," a police officer said.
Bagrakote received 23 cm rainfall in 24 hours till 8.30 am, the highest in West Bengal during the period, the Meteorological Department said.
It has warned of heavy to very heavy rain till Friday morning in north Bengal districts of Kalimpong, Alipurduar, Darjeeling, Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri. Regional MeT Department Director GK Das also warned of landslides in hilly regions, inundation of low-lying areas, blockage of roads and a rise in water levels in the rivers.
In neighbouring flood-hit Bihar, 60 more people were rescued from Darbhanga and Saran districts by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Tuesday, a spokesperson of the federal force said. He said the NDRF has evacuated more than 6,800 people from the inundated areas in the state till now.
"Water flow in several rivers such as Gandak, Burhi Gandak, Bagmati, Kamlabalan, Parman, Adhwara and Koshi has disrupted normal life in several areas," the spokesperson said.
In view of the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) alert for "heavy to heavy rainfalls in the next few days in northern parts of Bihar", he said, NDRF teams in the state have been alerted "to meet any eventuality". "Some additional teams have been kept on standby and shall be mobilised as per demand," he added.
In Uttar Pradesh, light to moderate rain occurred at a few places, the Meteorological Department in Lucknow said. Isolated places in the eastern part of the state received heavy rainfall, it said. The weather department said rain or thundershowers are very likely at most places in the state on Wednesday.
It also warned of moderate to severe thunderstorm accompanied with lightning at some places in the state.
Sultry weather conditions persisted in Haryana and Punjab, with maximum temperatures hovering above normal limits. Hot and humid weather has prevailed in the region as monsoon has remained subdued for the past five days, the Meteorological Department in Chandigarh said.
In Haryana, Hisar recorded a high of 38 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal. Narnaul's maximum settled at 37.8 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal. In Punjab, the mercury settled at 37 degrees Celsius three notches above normal in Amritsar and Ludhiana.
The weather department has issued a heavy rainfall warning for isolated places in Haryana and Punjab over the next three days. It said rain or thundershowers are also likely at a few places in the neighbouring states over the next two days.
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