New Delhi, Aug 24 (PTI) Incessant rains claimed nine lives in Gujarat on Monday and flooded major rivers in the state, prompting 1,900 people to move to safety, even as the IMD forecast heavy showers for parts of north India, Bengal and Odisha.
Although Delhi witnessed overcast conditions that kept the mercury in check, the meteorological department has predicted heavy rains between Wednesday and Friday.
This may spell trouble for the national capital as the water level of the Yamuna river rose perilously close to the danger mark on Monday morning after 5,883 cusec water was released from the Hathinikund Barrage in Haryana following heavy rains in its catchment area over the last few days.
The water level of the river was recorded at 204.38 metres at 8 am, which is just below the danger mark of 205.33 metres.
Like Delhi, maximum temperatures in Haryana and Punjab hovered close to normal limits on Monday. These states may also witness rain or thundershowers over the next two days.
In Uttar Pradesh, light to moderate rains and thundershowers occurred at many places, with the MeT department predicting similar weather for Tuesday too.
Heavy rains continued to pound Gujarat, especially the Saurashtra region, flooding low-lying areas and disrupting normal life.
With many rivers in spate in the state, over 1,900 people in Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Patan, and Mehsana districts were shifted to safer places.
Many dams, including the Aji Dam in Rajkot and Kadi Dam in Mehsana, received a large inflow of water. Many low-lying areas were marooned as gates of overflowing dams were opened.
Gujarat received more than 102 per cent of the annual average rainfall till Monday morning.
Of the nine rain-related deaths in the state, two were due to collapse of houses in Junagadh and Tapi districts, while seven drowned in separate incidents in Mehsana, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Tapi, Narmada and Morbi, officials said.
As on Monday morning, the state received 102.73 per cent of the annual average rainfall, with Kutch recording the highest 188.04 per cent so far, according to government data.
The state is very likely to witness an 'active wet spell' till Tuesday.
In the east, a low-pressure area has formed over the north Bay of Bengal that can bring heavy to very heavy rains in most parts of Odisha and south Bengal, raising fears of floods, landslide and waterlogging.
The IMD issued an 'orange' coloured warning for Gangetic Bengal and Odisha's Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts.
A 'red' colour warning has been issued for Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal, Angul and Deogarh districts of Odisha for Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Odisha government has asked district collectors to deal with a possible flash flood, landslide and waterlogging.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the deep sea in north Bay Of Bengal from August 25 to 27 as squally weather with wind speed up to 55 kmph may prevail in the region, the weatherman said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed concern at the possibility of floods and asked officials to be prepared to deal with the emerging situation.
Speaking to district officials from state secretariat, Banerjee said already some places have got inundated owing to overflowing of some rivers and breaches in embankments. She said that while there is a forecast for heavy rain in some districts over the next few days, rivers have already crossed the danger-mark in Malda and some other places.
Banerjee called for proper planning to ensure that hospitals and healthcare centres are not flooded if the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) releases water from its dams in Jharkhand.
Several places in Ghatal subdivision of West Midnapore district have been submerged owing to overflowing of the Shilabati river and continuing rain, officials said, adding at Minakha in North 24 Parganas, the Bidyadhari river breached embankment at a few places, flooding agricultural fields.
The weatherman said that the low-pressure system is likely to intensify in the next couple of days. Heavy rain is likely to occur in the districts of East and West Midnapore, South 24 Parganas, Jhargram, Howrah, Hooghly, Bankura and Birbhum, while thunderstorm with lightning is likely in other places of Gangetic Bengal.
With several rivers in the region already in spate owing to heavy downpour over he past few days, people living in the coastal districts are apprehensive of flooding of agricultural fields and low-lying areas.
Heavy rains lashed Birbhum district, while other parts of Gangetic Bengal also received showers since Sunday morning, the weather department said.
In Bihar, the flood situation remained critical with 83.62 lakh people across 16 districts still being affected, even as no fresh areas were hit by the deluge in the last two days.
The number of flood victims and affected areas remained the same since Saturday, the Disaster Management Department's bulletin stated, adding that 83,62,451 people in 1,333 panchayats of 130 blocks are reeling under the impact of the calamity.
Flood-related deaths also remained unchanged at 27.
However, the number of people being served cooked food has come down to 1.60 lakh on Monday from 1.78 lakh the previous day. The number of community kitchens also reduced by 21 since Sunday to reach 198, the bulletin said. PTI TEAM NSD NSD