M A I N   N E W S

Rains continue to batter North, toll crosses 100
Boats ply on Delhi streets

New Delhi, September 22
Incessant rains pouring over parts of North India since the past few days led to more areas being marooned by swollen rivers as the toll crossed 100 in the region with 14 more deaths in Uttar Pradesh today. More than 30 lakh people have been affected so far, their homes washed away and crops damaged. People waded through chest deep water, travelled on bullock carts or on boats to reach safer areas, carrying children and household belongings in their hands and on their heads.

The monsoon became active again in most parts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, resulting in a flood-like situation in many areas. Some 60 villages along the embankments of Yamuna and Sutlej are facing a grim situation as authorities issued a red alert. As a precautionary measure, residents of some of these villages were shifted to safer places. Elsewhere in the region, Chandigarh was drenched by 122.1 mm of rainfall while Ludhiana received 37.7 mm of rains.

Incessant rains during this time of the season can delay paddy harvesting besides affecting the kharif crop’s yield. In Punjab and Haryana, harvesting normally starts at the end of September while crop procurement commences on October 1. Incidentally, monsoon usually starts retreating from parts of northwest by September 1.

In Himachal Pradesh, torrential rains wrecked havoc triggering landslides, uprooting trees and damaging houses and roads. One person died and two others were injured when they were hit by a boulder at Nathpa Jhulla in tribal Kinnaur district. Around 150 tourists were stranded at Sangla in Kinnaur as the main link road was blocked due to massive landslides. Shimla received a record rainfall of 150 mm while Solan had 102 mm of rains. Over two dozen houses were damaged in the state capital.

Delhi, too, received heavy overnight rains as river Yamuna flowed well above the danger mark of 204.83 metres threatening to submerge more low-lying areas along its course. Railways cancelled 22 trains and diverted 65 others as the Old Yamuna bridge was closed for road and rail traffic following the rise in water level in the river. The weather remained cloudy during the day that led to the maximum temperature settling five notches below normal to settle at 29.5°C. However, the humidity was on the higher side oscillating between 78 and 92 per cent as the city received 3.2 mm of rains during the day.

Heavy rains continued to pound Uttar Pradesh where 14 more people perished in rain-related incidents taking the toll this season to 270 in the state. Over 1,000 villages, mostly in western UP, were affected by the downpour while the flood situation in 47 of them was grave. Ganga and Ramganga were flowing above the danger level at many places while the water level in river Yamuna was rising alarmingly.

In Uttarakhand, where the Army was called in after the Ganga rose to near the danger level in Haridwar, 5 lakh people have been affected. The Army is providing medicines, shifting people to safer grounds and conducting repairs of small stretches of roads. Incessant rains and resultant floods and landslides have badly affected adventure tourism with tourists cancelling bookings. Some tourists were still stranded in upper reaches of Himalayas like Gangotri and Manali as landslides have blocked national highways. Almora, Rani Khet, Jolle Kote and Manali in the Kumaon region have become out of bounds due to heavy rains and landslides.

In Bihar, where the Gandak river burst through its embankments in various places and flooded villages, houses were invaded by stray dogs, snakes and scorpions. “They are perched atop almirahs, in closets, in the kitchens and even in mud utensils. It’s hell,” 45-year-old Rupdeo Mahto told reporters in the flood-hit Gopalganj district. — PTI/ Reuters 

Punjab & Haryana: Monsoon becomes active again, red alert in 60 villages on banks of Yamuna & Sutlej

Chandigarh: City drenched by 122.1 mm rain

Himachal: Rains wreak havoc; Shimla receives record rainfall, around 150 tourists stranded at Sangla

Delhi: Yamuna flowing well above danger mark, Old Yamuna bridge closed, 22 trains cancelled & 65 diverted, many areas inundated

Uttarakhand: Tourists still stranded in upper reaches of Himalayas, landslides continue to block national highways

Uttar Pradesh: 14 more killed, toll up to 270, Ganga & Ramganga above danger level at many places, Yamuna rising too

The worst is over

The good news, as per the India Meteorological Department, is that monsoon withdrawal from the Northwest is likely to begin soon. IMD chief Ajit Tyagi told The Tribune on Wednesday that current rain spell was possibly the tail end of its fury in the region this season. It has forecast isolated heavy rainfall over Himachal, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, north Rajasthan and west Uttar Pradesh in the next 48 hours. —TNS More stories on P5, 20





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