Rain hammers North India, triggers landslides, kills at least 37
Incessant rains wreaked havoc in North India with reports suggesting that at least 37 people have died. The downpour triggered landslides which left hundreds of people stranded in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Meanwhile, several areas of Jammu and Punjab were flooded. A flood alert was sounded in Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, as rivers neared the danger mark. Here are more details.
Water-level rose in Delhi, people were asked to take precautions
In Delhi and Haridwar, the water level rose above the danger mark. In fact, the level at Bhakra Dam was a foot more than what's permissible. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged people residing in low-lying areas to shift to temporary shelters. According to reports, 2,120 makeshift shelters have been set up. Separately, the administration remained on alert in parts of Haryana and Punjab.
In Himachal and Uttarakhand, dozens died due to rains
In Himachal Pradesh, three more people died taking the toll to 25. The heavy rains over the weekend caused floods and landslides. Untimely snowfall in Lahaul-Spiti district stranded over 800 tourists, out of whom 253 were rescued, reports said. Separately, in Uttarakhand, two more bodies were recovered, bringing the toll to 12. In Uttarkashi district, rains washed away houses and hectares of agricultural land.
Notably, Himachal received record rainfall on Sunday
As per the Indian Meteorological Department, Himachal Pradesh received the highest rainfall for a period of 24 hours on Sunday. "The state as a whole received 102.5 mm of rainfall and this was 1065% more than normal for this day," a statement read. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur disclosed that the havoc caused an estimated loss of Rs. 574 crore.
Pilgrims of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra were called to base camp
Rains also foiled plans of pilgrims of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. The yatra through Lipulekh route was halted courtesy landslides. The 17th batch, containing 56 pilgrims, was asked to return to Dharchula base camp for safety reasons, revealed Pithoragarh district magistrate V K Jogdande.
Meanwhile, Punjab CM announced Rs. 100 crore for relief operations
The situation also remained grim in Punjab and Haryana. Reports said 250 villages in eight districts of Punjab remained on alert as overflowing rivers caused flooding. Some 209 villages were also evacuated as a precautionary measure. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced Rs. 100 crore fund to aid in relief operations. The state government also declared the current flood situation in affected villages as "natural calamity".
In Jammu and Karnal, IAF saved lives
Further, IAF carried out tense rescue operations in Jammu and Karnal districts. A helicopter rescued four fishermen stuck in the overflowing waters of the Tawi river. On Monday morning, IAF saved nine people stuck in Karnal district. The operation was carried out despite "adverse weather", said senior police officer Navdeep Singh Virk. Rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, and Ghaghra also remained in spate in UP.