Rains in India’s northern states have taken at least 38 lives, triggering landslides that stranded hundreds of people in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and left several areas in Punjab, Haryana and Jammu flooded.
On Monday, Indian Air Force helicopters carried out dramatic rescue operations in Jammu and Karnal districts, even as the administration was on alert in parts of Haryana and Punjab.
Although the rainfall subsided across the region on Monday, rivers in several parts of the region were in spate. The water level rose above the danger mark in Haridwar and Delhi, and the level at Bhakra dam was a foot above the permissible mark.
Three more people were reported dead in Himachal Pradesh, where heavy rains over the weekend have caused floods and landslides, increasing the toll to 25. In neighbouring Uttarakhand, the toll climbed to 12, with recovery of two more bodies.
Cloudbursts have wreaked havoc in a dozen villages of Uttarkashi district, washing away houses and hectares of agricultural land. A 16-year-old boy drowned in Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah due to release of water from Kota Barrage into the Chambal.
A total of 897 tourists were stranded in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul-Spiti due to untimely snowfall, an official said. Official said, nearly 1150 tourists were stranded in the district, of whom 253 were rescued.
The situation in parts of Punjab and Haryana remained grim, prompting the Punjab government to declare the current flood situation as a natural calamity.
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through traditional Lipulekh route was halted due to landslides on the trek route. According to Pithoragarh district magistrate V K Jogdande, the 17th batch with 56 pilgrims was called back to the Dharchula base camp for safety reasons.
Two bodies were recovered on Monday evening from Makudi as search operations were intensified with the weather improving, Uttarkashi disaster management officer Devendra Patwal said, adding five were still missing.
All bodies except one have been identified, he said. So far, six bodies have been pulled from the rubble in Makudi, four from Arakot and one each from Tikochi and Sanel. Sixty head of cattle have also been killed in the cloudbursts in Mori. Three helicopters, including one from the IAF, were pressed into service to take relief material to people.
In Himachal Pradesh, over 500 people were stranded as several roads were blocked by landslides and flash floods, officials said. The rains have so far caused damage adding up to ~574 crore, according to a state government spokesperson. The incessant rainfall for the last two days damaged water pipes and hit supplies in Kangra district. In Jammu, an Indian Air Force helicopter rescued four fishermen who were stuck in swollen waters of the Tawi river, officials said.
Several rivers including the Ganga, Yamuna and Ghaghra were in spate in Uttar Pradesh due to heavy rains in neighbouring states, leading to floods in low-lying areas that left one person dead.
Aug 20, 2019 01:20 IST