37 Killed As Heavy Rains Batter North India; Army, NDRF Teams Step In For Rescue Ops - Eastern Mirror
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37 killed as heavy rains batter north India; Army, NDRF teams step in for rescue ops

By PTI Updated: Jul 10, 2023 11:44 pm

NEW DELHI— Incessant rains unleashed more death and destruction on Monday in parts of north India with 37 people killed in landslides and other rain-related incidents in the last two days even as the Army and NDRF teams stepped in to intensify the relief and rescue operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken with chief ministers of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand about the situation and assured them of all help and support from the central government.

Modi also spoke with senior ministers and officials and took stock of the situation in the wake of excessive rainfall in parts of the country, his office said.

Flash floods and landslides claimed 18 lives over the past two days in Himachal Pradesh, while nine people died in Punjab and Haryana, seven in Rajasthan and three in Uttar Pradesh in different rain-related incidents.

Several rivers, including the Yamuna in Delhi, in north India are in spate. In cities and towns across the region, many roads and residential areas were submerged in knee-deep water with the civic system unable to hold on in the face of record rains on Sunday.

A total of 39 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed in four north Indian states to tackle the heavy rains and floods. While 14 teams are working in Punjab, a dozen are deployed in Himachal Pradesh, eight in Uttarakhand and five in Haryana.

“The rescue operations are being undertaken as per the situation on ground and in coordination with the state authorities,” an NDRF spokesperson said.

In Punjab, the Army rescued 910 students and 50 others from a private university in the state after it was flooded with water due to heavy rains.

The civil administration in Punjab and Haryana had earlier sought help for the rescue operation from the Army, which sent the Flood Relief columns of Army’s Western Command to assist the administration in the flood affected areas of the two states.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday asked the Centre to make available additional relief from the PM CARES Fund for states affected by the torrential rain.

In Himachal Pradesh, there was no let-up in the monsoon fury on Monday with flash floods and landslides claiming 18 lives over the past two days, affecting hydropower projects and destroying properties worth hundreds of crores of rupees.

As many as 72 people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents since June 24 in the state.

Officials said over 300 tourists and local people are stranded in Chandertal, Pagal Nallah and other places in Lahaul and Spiti, while teams of NDRF, police and home guard rescued 515 labourers from waterlogged slum areas at Lalsingi in Una district.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said efforts are on to rescue the 300 stranded people, and they could be airlifted as the weather clears. Power and water supply has been snapped in several areas.

He said an assessment of loss is underway and it is estimated to be in the range of Rs 3,000-Rs. 4000 crore, according to a government statement.

A preliminary estimates by the State Emergency Operation Centre, however, pegged the loss at Rs 785 crore. It reported 18 rain-related deaths since Sunday morning.

Around 800 roads are still closed in the state. According to transport department officials bus services on 1,255 routes of the Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) have been suspended and 576 buses are stranded at different places on route.

Three members of a Nepali family were killed as their house collapsed at Shimla’s Theog, with the video of the incident going viral.

On Monday morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a “red” alert for “extremely heavy rain”, a day after heavy rain pounded the state, triggering landslides, and damaging houses.

Officials said rail operations on the Shimla-Kalka route, a UNESCO world heritage site, have been suspended till Tuesday as landslides blocked the track at several places while educational institutions across the state were ordered to remain shut on Monday and Tuesday.

The Shimla-Kalka National Highway was blocked near Shoghi, about 16 km from the capital city, following a landslide on Monday.

More than 120 roads are blocked in the district while 484 water supply schemes have been affected, the officials said.

CM Sukhu appealed to the people to avoid venturing out in heavy rains, especially near rivers and nullahs, as the Met department has warned of heavy rains to continue.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday held a meeting over the torrential rains and the rising Yamuna water levels in the city.

Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said the evacuation of people from low-lying areas around Yamuna will start once the river touches the 206-metre mark while assuring the people that experts have said the flood situation might not arise in the national capital.

The government is closely monitoring the situation and was fully prepared to tackle it, he said.

In Uttar Pradesh, three people were killed and as many seriously injured in incidents of roof collapse following heavy rainfall in Hapur and Badaun districts while continued showers disrupted normal life in different districts of the state.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed all departments concerned to remain alert in view of a possible swelling of rivers due to heavy rains in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

In a review meeting following heavy rains, Adityanath asked officials to keep monitoring the situation, especially the river embankments, while flood units of the NDRF and SDRF as well as disaster management teams were directed to remain alert.

In Rajasthan, intense monsoon rains brought normal life to a standstill in eastern and central parts of the state, flooding out roads, rail tracks, and even hospitals. More showers are expected to lash around a dozen districts on Tuesday as well.

A seven-year-old boy was swept away on Monday in the gushing waters of an overflowing drain in the Murlipura area in state capital Jaipur, where several areas reeled from waterlogging.

Three deaths due to drowning were reported from Ajmer, two from Nagaur and one from Tonk.

The Met department has issued a yellow alert for heavy rainfall in Alwar, Banswara, Baran, Bharatpur, Dausa, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Karauli, Sawai Madhopur, Sirohi, and Udaipur on Monday and in Baran, Bundi, Dungarpur, Jhalawar, Kota, Pratapgarh and Sawai Madhopur on Tuesday. The state has 33 districts.

The IMD uses four colour codes for weather warnings – green (no action needed), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action).

Rains battered many parts of Punjab and Haryana on Monday causing flooding at many places, as authorities scrambled to lead rescue operations to shift people to safer places.

Nine people have died in rain-related incidents in the two states.

The Punjab government ordered the closure of schools in the state till July 13 in view of the prevailing situation.

Chandigarh also witnessed record rainfall during the past three days, and a few roads were filled with rainwater.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann appealed to people not to panic as heavy rains caused flooding at some places in the state.

Punjab Chief Secretary Anurag Verma on Monday chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation in the state and to speed up the relief work.

Mohali, Patiala, Rupnagar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Panchkula and Ambala are some of the worst-hit districts in the two states.

In view of the prevailing situation, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar cancelled all his pre-scheduled programmes for the day and summoned an emergency meeting of senior officials of various departments.

He also took stock of the situation with senior officials in the meeting in which Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal was also present.

In Uttarakhand, the Badrinath National Highway and several other roads were blocked due to incessant rains and landslides on Monday, officials said.

The traffic on the highway was restored after a few hours while efforts are on to open other roads that are still closed, they said.

By PTI Updated: Jul 10, 2023 11:44:56 pm
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