At least 148 die as torrential rainfall and flash floods wreak havoc in India

World Tuesday 01/October/2019 09:24 AM
By: Times News Service

Patna: Torrential monsoon rains have wreaked havoc across parts of India, especially in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh which have been reeling under floods since the past few days, with the death toll mounting to 148 in the country.

The extended southwest monsoon over the Indian subcontinent has not only caused devastation in several places in the country, but has also broken some old records and set new ones.

The highest number of deaths -- 111 were reported from Uttar Pradesh, while 29 people lost their lives in Bihar since last week.

India recorded its highest rainfall this Monsoon since 1994, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said classifying it 'above normal' as the season officially ended on Monday. However, rain bearing winds still remain active over several parts of the country.
Rainfall received so far is 10 per cent more than the normal, which is highest in the last 25 years, an IMD official said. The withdrawal of southwest monsoon has been delayed by a month, the official said.

"Normal withdrawal of southwest monsoon begins by September 1 in Rajasthan and other northern parts of India. This year, the Hikka cyclone has so far brought more showers and southwest monsoon is still here," he added.

In Maharashtra, the monsoon has brought copious rains with its late onslaught. Mumbai has received 3,669.6 mm rainfall so far this season - the highest in 61 years - as against its normal quota of 2,350 mm.

In Uttar Pradesh, since Thursday, 104 people have died in rain-related incidents, with the state government on Sunday cancelling leave of officials in view of the situation.

On 26 September, 36 people died, 18 people on 27 and September, 28 on 28 September, 18 people on 29 September and four on Monday, according to officials.

The MET department has predicted rain and thunder showers at many places in eastern Uttar Pradesh and heavy rain at isolated places over the western region on October 1.

In Ballia, authorities had to shift about 900 prisoners to other jails after flood waters entered the barracks of the district jail located near the Ganga River.

Three fresh deaths caused by drowning were reported on Monday afternoon, one from Nawada and two from Jehanabad district, raising the toll to 29 in Bihar.

The disaster management department said six deaths have been reported from Gaya district where five persons were killed in a wall collapse while another person drowned in a river which has been in spate because of rains.

The weather department has forecast a long delayed withdrawal of Monsoon and more rains for Bihar, including capital Patna where several areas still remain submerged, and food and relief material are being air dropped.

In Patna, normal life was thrown out of gear, with several schools shut, roads inundated, and many shops, hospitals and houses submerged in knee deep waters.

More than 4,000 people, including women and children, were rescued from the flood-affected areas of Patna on Monday, the NDRF said.

The force said it has deployed five teams, with about 45 personnel in each, to conduct rescue and relief works in the city.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi was "rescued" by a State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) boat. LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag Paswan are putting up at a hotel instead of their house in a posh locality of the Bihar capital.

An Indian Air Force helicopter commenced air-dropping of food and other relief material to people living in low-lying areas where water level is said to be several feet high.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday discussed the flood situation in Bihar with CM Nitish Kumar and said the central government stands ready to provide all possible help.

"Spoke to Bihar CM @NitishKumar Ji regarding the flood situation in parts of the state. Agencies are working with local administration to assist the affected," PM Modi tweeted.

As many as 13 deaths were reported on Saturday from Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

In Gujarat, three women drowned after their car was swept away at a flooded causeway in Rajkot district on Sunday following heavy rains in several parts of the Saurashtra region.

In Jharkhand, three members of a family died in Dumka district after a wall collapsed on them following heavy rains in the region.

Of the 36 meteorological subdivisions of the IMD, two -- west Madhya Pradesh and Saurashtra and Kutch -- recorded precipitation in "large excess”.

In the hill state of Himachal Pradesh, light to moderate rainfall occurred in most places since Sunday evening, bringing the maximum temperature down by a few notches, the meteorological department said.