Monsoon rains in northern India leave several dead

World Monday 10/July/2023 17:33 PM
By: Agencies
Monsoon rains in northern India leave several dead

New Delhi: At least 15 people died in the heavy monsoon rains that battered northern India, authorities and local media said on Monday.

The torrential rains caused landslides and flash floods in various Indian states, leaving dozens stranded. In the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, flash floods over the weekend brought down a bridge and swept away several hutments.

Footage from local media shows authorities using helicopters to rescue people who were stuck on roads and bridges because of the rain.

This was also a situation in neighbouring Uttarkhand, a tourist hill state in the Himalayas, where landslides disrupted traffic on key highways.

In the capital, New Delhi, schools were closed after the city was entirely flooded by the weekend rains.
Extremely heavy downpours expected in Himachal Pradesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with officials and ministers and took stock of the situation in the wake of excessive rainfall, news agency ANI reported.

"Local administrations and disaster response teams are working to ensure the well-being of those affected,” the prime minister's office tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Indian Meterological Department (IMD) gave a red alert to Himachal Pradesh and warned the state might experience extremely heavy downpours. A senior weather department official said that many districts in Himachal Pradesh received a month's rainfall in a day during the weekend.
Indian monsoons becoming more erratic

Heavy rains are also expected in other northern regions such as Uttarkhand, Punjab and Haryana.

Authorities have asked people not to venture out of their homes unless necessary.

The weather agency said monsoon rains across the country have already brought about 2% more rainfall than normal.

India regularly witnesses severe floods during the monsoon season, which runs between June and September.

But experts say that monsoons are becoming more erratic due to climate change, and the intensity of rains has increased, leading to frequent landslides and flash floods.

Heavy rains trigger floods

A total of 38 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are deployed in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh as relentless rain continued to lash these states for the third straight day in a row, putting normal life out of gear.

As the rain across the northern parts of the country has killed over 20 people, as well as caused landslides and flash floods in the region, the NDRF's 15 teams are deployed in Punjab, 12 in Uttarakhand and 11 in Himachal Pradesh. Some reserve teams of the NDRF are also ready to meet any challenge in an emergency situation in Delhi where the Yamuna river is flowing at 203.58 meters and is expected to reach 205.5 meters by tomorrow morning.

Speaking to ANI, NDRF DIG Mohsen Shahedi said that the reason behind heavy rains for the last three days is due to Western Disturbances.

"This situation often comes in monsoon. This caused heavy rains. Early warning and IMD (India Meteorological Department) prediction was given in advance regarding it," Shahedi said.

Asked about the deployment of the NDRF, Shahedi said, a total of 15 teams are deployed in Punjab, 12 in Uttarakhand and 11 in Himachal Pradesh presently.

"Some more places may face problems as a few reservoirs will be opened tomorrow. NDRF will be deployed accordingly to deal with any challenge," the DIG added.

As per the officer, some rescue operations have also been undertaken by the NDRF personnel in each of these three states-- Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. "Rescue operations were conducted in almost each state, and it continued the whole night."

"Relief materials have also been provided at many places. The relief materials have been provided to people stranded at some safe locations. These materials were provided to these people with the help of state administration and state agencies," Shahedi told ANI.

The officer further said that the NDRF had received information from Central Water Commission (CWC) that the danger level of water in Delhi will touch by this noon. "If there is any emergency situation in Delhi, the NDRF teams in Delhi's Dwarka and Ghaziabad are ready.

As per SSP Mandi, Soumya Sambasivan, there is a state of complete disaster in the Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh as many buildings, bridges and parking lots have been washed away.

Similar conditions are in Punjab and Uttarakhand as heavy rains triggered landslides and have left hundreds stranded as several roads -- including National Highways-- have been damaged due to landslides, adversely impacting vehicular movement in Himachal Pradesh.

As per IMD, it had given a warning for extremely heavy rainfall and issued red alerts in Himachal Pradesh. "Tomorrow onwards, rain is likely to decrease in Himachal Pradesh but in Uttarakhand, for the next 3 days, similar kind or a little lower intensity rain is likely to continue...Today, heavy rain expected in eastern Punjab, Haryana, West Uttar Pradesh and south Rajasthan...," said the IMD.