NEW DELHI: The death toll in the landslide in Kerala’s Idukki district rose to 55 on Wednesday as three more bodies were retrieved from under the debris while the flood situation worsened in Bihar but improved slightly in Assam.
While 16 districts of Uttar Pradesh too are affected by floods, several parts of the country received rains including the national capital which was lashed by heavy showers which ended a prolonged dry spell in the city.
Delhi suffered stifling humidity in the afternoon only to be rewarded with a heavy downpour at night which inundated low-lying areas. Dark clouds hovered over the national capital during the day, but rains kept the residents waiting until after 8 pm.
Earlier, the India Meteorological Department had forecast moderate to heavy rains in the city on Wednesday and Thursday. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded just 0.2 mm rainfall till 5.30 pm.
The maximum temperature settled at 36.2 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal. Humidity levels shot up to 92 percent.
After more than normal rainfall in July, monsoonal precipitation has remained subdued in Delhi in August so far.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Delhi has recorded 72 per cent less rainfall than normal in August so far, which is the lowest in 10 years.
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for the city, has recorded just 31.1 mm rainfall this month so far against the normal of 109.6 mm.
In Kerala’s Idukki, operations led by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) continued even on the sixth day on Wednesday to trace 15 more missing people.
Idukki Collector H Dineshan told PTI that 82 people were affected by the landslide that occurred on August 7.
The settlements of estate workers were swept away by the landslip near Rajamala here and various agencies have been engaged in the rescue operations since then.
The flood situation in Bihar worsened on Wednesday as over 2.16 lakh more people were affected by the calamity, taking the total number of victims to 77,18,788 in 16 districts, a Disaster Management Department bulletin said.
Flood waters entered fresh areas and the number of affected panchayats increased to 1,271 from Tuesday’s 1,260, though that of the flood-hit districts remained at 16. The number of people who died in flood related incidents in the state remained at 24, the bulletin said.
The bulletin said that 20 teams of the NDRF and 13 of the SDRF have evacuated 5.47 lakh people from inundated areas so far.
The state government has transferred Rs 403 crore into the bank accounts of 6.72 lakh flood affected families so far, an official said.
Several rivers such as the Baghmati, Burhi Gandak, Kamlabalan and the Khiroi are flowing above the danger level at several places in the state while the water level of the Ganga is flowing below it.
The Met office at Patna has forecast light to moderate rain in the catchment areas of all rivers flowing in the state on Thursday while heavy rain is likely at a few places in the catchment areas of the Gandak.
In Assam, Dhemaji, Baksa and Morigaon districts continued to remain submerged on Wednesday, even as floodwaters receded from most parts of the state.
At present, 14,205 people are suffering due to the deluge in these three districts while 7,009 hectares cropland is affected, according to the daily flood bulletin of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).
Dhemaji is the worst-hit district with 12,908 people affected, followed by Baksa where 1,000 people are suffering, and Morigaon with 297 people hit by the calamity.
The total number of people losing their lives in this year’s flood and landslide stands at 136 across the state. Of them, 110 were killed in flood-related incidents and 26 died in landslides.
In Uttar Pradesh, thunderstorms accompanied with lightning occurred at a few places in the eastern part of the state and at isolated places in the western region while rains and thundershower are “very likely” at many places in the state on August 14 and August 15, the IMD said.
As 16 districts of the state are affected by floods, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday directed officials to ensure sanitisation and hygeine in relief camps set up in the deluge-hit areas.
The Sharda river in Lakhimpur Kheri’s Palliakalan and the Saryu at Barabanki’s Elgin Bridge, Ayodhya and Ballia’s Turtipar are flowing above the danger mark, state Relief Commissioner Sanjay Goyel said.
Parts of Rajasthan too were lashed by rain in the last 24 hours, the IMD said.
Kishanganj received 170 mm rain followed by 110.4 mm in Jaipur tehsil, 80.2 mm in Jamwaramgarh, 70.6 mm in Mandana, 70.5 mm in Bassi among others.
Sriganganagar was the hottest place in the state as the maximum temperature there settled at 40 degree Celsius.
Parts of Haryana and Punjab received rainfall but sultry weather conditions prevailed in the region.
Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, received light rains and recorded a maximum temperature of 34.4 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal limits.
In Haryana, Karnal received 10 mm rain, followed by Bhiwani (8 mm) and Ambala (4 mm) while in Punjab, Ludhiana received 28 mm rain and registered a maximum of 33.7 degrees Celsius and Patiala’s maximum settled at 35.6 degrees Celsius, up two degrees. According to the meteorological department forecast, rains or thundershowers are likely at a few places in Haryana and Punjab over the next two days.