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Heavy rain batters north, west India; Assam floods worsen

Heavy rain disrupts daily life in North India and Assam, causing landslides and floods, affecting millions, with critical situations in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Assam.

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: July 5, 2024, 07:18 PM - 6 mins read

Vehicles washed away in the River Ganga after heavy rainfall, in Kotwali city area in Haridwar (L). The flood situation in Assam (R).

Heavy rain batters north, west India; Assam floods worsen

Vehicles washed away in the River Ganga after heavy rainfall, in Kotwali city area in Haridwar (L). The flood situation in Assam (R).


Heavy rains wreaked havoc across vast regions of north India on Friday, severely affecting daily life in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The flood situation in Assam remained dire, with major rivers breaching danger marks and nearly 24 lakh people impacted by the deluge.

In Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma toured flood-hit areas in Dibrugarh, one of the 30 affected districts, highlighting the scale of what is considered one of the worst floods in recent memory.

 

Uttarakhand, battered by incessant rain over the past few days, reported tragic incidents, including the drowning of a five-year-old in a rainwater-filled pit in Dehradun and a teenager in a Haridwar rivulet.

 

The relentless downpour triggered numerous landslides, blocking key roads, including the national highway to Badrinath, causing significant disruptions.

 

In Himachal Pradesh, heavy rain led to the closure of 64 roads. The regional Meteorological office issued warnings of moderate flash flood risks in parts of Kangra, Kullu, Kinnaur, Mandi, Sirmaur, and Shimla districts over the next 24 hours.

 

Rajasthan also experienced severe weather, with Malpura in Tonk district recording 176 mm of rainfall in 24 hours. The deluge has caused rivers and streams to overflow, leading to increased water levels in many dams.

 

Assam’s flood crisis deepened as 77 wild animals perished, either due to drowning or during rescue operations, while 94 were rescued from the inundated Kaziranga National Park. The flood's impact extended to 30 districts, with all major rivers flowing above danger levels, affecting nearly 24 lakh people.

 

Chief Minister Sarma's review of the situation in Dibrugarh town, which has been submerged and facing severe power outages for the past eight days, brought attention to the region's critical state. He toured affected areas on foot, engaging with the distressed residents.

 

In the Kamrup Metropolitan district, two individuals, including a child, died in a landslide triggered by incessant rainfall, raising this year's toll from floods, landslides, and storms to 64. While no new casualties were reported from flooding, the deluge has claimed 52 lives.

 

Dhubri emerged as the worst-hit district with 6.48 lakh people affected, followed by Darrang with 1.90 lakh, and Cachar with 1.45 lakh.

 

In response to the impending threat, the Delhi government has established a 24x7 flood control room to monitor real-time data from the Hathnikund barrage, where water discharge into the Yamuna is regulated.

 

"Last year, the Yamuna reached its highest level in 70 years. We are preparing to handle any flood possibilities," stated Atishi, Delhi's water minister.

 

Saurabh Bharadwaj, the irrigation and flood control minister, assured that the control room would be fully computerised and responsive to any significant water release from the barrage.

 

The Meteorological office has predicted generally cloudy skies with light rain, accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning, for Saturday. It also forecasts heavy rainfall over the next four to five days.

 

In Uttarakhand, the State Emergency Operation Centre reported that landslides had blocked 88 rural motorable roads, two border roads, one state highway, and the national highway leading to Badrinath.

 

The Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway was obstructed at Lambagad, a landslide-prone area. Debris from a landslide also blocked the opening of an old tunnel in Rudraprayag district, although no casualties were reported, according to Superintendent of Police Vishakha Ashok Bhadane.

 

Dehradun has been particularly affected by continuous heavy rain, resulting in widespread waterlogging.

 

Neighbouring Himachal Pradesh recorded 59% excess rainfall in July, with 43.2 mm against a normal of 27.2 mm. The state has closed 64 roads, including 55 in Mandi, seven in Chamba, and one each in Kangra and Shimla districts, due to torrential rain. The Shimla Meteorological office issued a 'yellow' alert for heavy rain, thunderstorms, and lightning in isolated areas for Saturday.

 

In Rajasthan’s Bikaner, a toddler was among three people killed in a wall collapse following heavy rain. Three individuals were rescued from a fast-flowing stream in Tonk.

 

Light to moderate rain affected various districts, including Jaipur, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Kota, Chittorgarh, Jhunjhunu, Alwar, Udaipur, and Jodhpur. The heavy rain caused rivers and streams to overflow and raised water levels in several dams.

 

In the Malpura area of Tonk, three people were rescued after being stuck in a fast-flowing stream. In Bikaner’s Bichwal area, a factory wall collapse claimed the lives of three individuals, including a toddler.

 

The victims, identified as Pinna, Sanjay, and one-year-old Manisha, were natives of Madhya Pradesh.

 

A circulation system over southwestern Uttar Pradesh and adjoining eastern Rajasthan contributed to the heavy rainfall, with the monsoon trough line passing through Bikaner and Sikar.

 

Northern West Bengal, drenched by rain, is likely to receive more showers till July 9, according to the Met office. A trough from Rajasthan to the northeast and an active monsoon over northern West Bengal is expected to bring heavy rainfall to the region.

 

Heavy to very heavy rain, with extremely heavy rain in isolated places, is predicted in the sub-Himalayan districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, and Coochbehar.

 

The downpour may trigger landslides in the hill districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong and cause waterlogging in low-lying areas of the plains. Rivers like Teesta, Jaldhaka, Sankosh, and Torsa are expected to see rising water levels due to heavy rain.

 

Meghalaya has experienced 44% excess rainfall in the last month, causing extensive damage to public infrastructure and disrupting the lives of residents. The state received 117.32 cm of rain between June 1 and July 3, significantly higher than normal, according to a senior disaster management official. "The southern districts are the worst affected," the official noted.

 

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