New Delhi: Northern India was once again gripped by the fury of rain, with as many as 48 deaths reported in rain-related incidents across Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Bihar was also saw incessant rainfall and an alert was sounded after the streets of state capital Patna and other areas were waterlogged and residences of at least two ministers marooned.
The Uttar Pradesh government said that as many as 35 people had lost their lives since Friday in rain-related incidents. According to the government, 25 people died on Saturday and ten lost their lives on Friday. The meteorological department said heavy rain is very likely at isolated places over eastern UP on Sunday.
Over the past four days, more than 70 people have died in rain-related incidents in UP alone. The state’s chief minister Yogi Adityanath has asked officials to extend monetary help of Rs 4 lakh each to family members of those who were killed.
In Uttarakhand, six pilgrims from Punjab who were on their way to Hemkund Sahib were killed when a huge rock fell on their vehicle in Tehri district. The landslide was triggered by heavy rains, officials said.
Three deaths each were reported from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, while one person died in Jammu and Kashmir.
Several parts of Bihar flooded
In Bihar, heavy rains since Friday in several parts threw normal life out of gear, affecting rail traffic, healthcare facilities and schools. On Sunday, three people died after a wall collapsed in Bhagalpur following because of heavy rains. According to reports, many people are feared to have been trapped and rescue teams have arrived at the spot.
The residences of deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav and BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy resembled marooned islands.
Hospitals flooded, boats plying on main roads—non-stop rains and overflowing Ganga River brings life to a halt in Patna. Situation alarming in Kosi region. @sunitanar @OmairTAhmad @joydeepgupta @RKSinhaBJP @ICD_climate @NDRFHQ pic.twitter.com/Er15AFP3MC
— Alok Gupta 那乐 (@alok227) September 29, 2019
The weather department has forecast heavy rainfall for the city till September 30. The Patna district administration has ordered the closure of all schools till Tuesday.
According to reports, at least 13 persons have died in the state after buildings collapsed and trees fell on them due to incessant rain in Patna, Bhagalpur and Kaimur districts of Bihar.
The three districts are among over a dozen in the state that were lashed by incessant rain for close to 48 hours bringing normal business to a grinding halt and disrupting rail and road traffic in most places.
According to the weather department, the state capital has received more than 200 mm of rainfall since Friday evening, which was described by principal secretary, disaster management department, Pratyay Amrit as “totally unexpected”.
He also expressed concern over water having entered many power sub-stations which could affect the functioning of sump houses in the long run.
The Nalanda Medical College Hospital’s premises, the second-largest healthcare facility in Patna, was waterlogged, as was the Gardanibagh hospital. “Localities like Rajendra Nagar and S.K. Puri are the worst affected,” district magistrate Kumar Ravi told reporters.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar reviewed the situation in a video conference meeting with officials who informed him that the state received an average rainfall of 50 mm since Friday with districts like Vaishali and Nawada recording more than 200 mm.
The district magistrate said a contingent of NDRF and SDRF personnel was pressed into service to rescue residents from the areas alarmingly waterlogged.
East Central Railway officials said rail traffic was suspended on the Darbhanga-Samastipur section in the morning as tracks at some places got inundated due to heavy rain, leaving at least three trains stranded.
The NDRF said 18 of its teams have been pressed into service in districts which have received heavy rainfall.
Three killed in Rajasthan
In the desert state of Rajasthan, three students were killed when a government school’s wall collapsed after excessive rainfall in Udaipur district. The incident occurred early on Friday morning in Government Middle School, Thobwara. The school, which is situated on the foothills, was waterlogged due to excessive rainfall on Friday night, the police said.
Meanwhile, three persons, including a police constable, were swept away in the strong currents of a swollen nullah in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, police said. The incident occurred on Ghansor-Kedarpur Road on Friday night.
The three bodies were recovered about a kilometre away from the place of the incident.
“It was raining incessantly and the water level of the nullah had gone up,” Seoni’s additional superintendent of police Kamlesh Kharpuse said.
Madhya Pradesh has been witnessing heavy rainfall over the last couple of weeks.
The India Meteorological Department on Saturday forecast heavy to very heavy rain in parts of north Gujarat and the state’s Saurashtra-Kutch belt over the weekend.
One killed by lightning in J&K
In Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district, a 22-year-old woman was killed after she was struck by lightning. Heavy rains lashed wide parts of the Jammu province, causing waterlogging and traffic jams at many places in the city disrupting normal life.
In Himachal Pradesh, parts of the state received light rainfall on Saturday which brought the maximum temperature down by two to three notches below the season’s average.
Mandi received the maximum rainfall at 36 mm in the 24 hours ending at 5:30 pm on Saturday, followed by Kufri (28 mm), Salooni (25 mm), Kandaghat and Bakloh (22 mm each), Baijnath (19 mm), Solan (13 mm), Shimla (12.3 mm) and Manali (11 mm).
Heavy rains in South India too
Meanwhile, the Krishna river is in spate again following heavy rain in the upper catchment areas in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Consequently, the crest gates of major dams that were already full to the brim in Andhra Pradesh had to be opened for the third time in the last couple of months to let out floodwater into the Bay of Bengal.