Assam floods claim 4 more lives, over a million affected; 3 die in rain-related incidents elsewhere

New Delhi, Jun 29 (PTI) The floods in Assam spread to more areas on Monday, claiming four lives during the day and affecting over a million people overall, even as three deaths were reported in rain-related incidents in other parts of the country.

Till Sunday, Assam's 23 districts were affected by the flood, which has now spread to 25 districts, hitting 13.2 lakh people, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority said in its daily bulletin. The ASDMA said that with the fresh deaths, the state’s flood toll has risen to 22.

The number of people affected till Sunday was nearly 9.3 lakh. The ASDMA in its daily bulletin said among the four lives lost on Monday are two rom Dibrugarh, and one each in Barpeta and Goalpara. Meanwhile, rains in parts of the national capital brought the much-needed relief to the people after sweltering heat prevailed through the day. During the day, the mercury continued to hover near the 40 degrees Celsius-mark in most parts of the city.

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded a maximum temperature of 40.7 degrees Celsius, four notches more than normal. Humidity levels oscillated between 41 per cent and 78 per cent.

The weather stations at Palam, Najafgarh, Ayanagar, and Pusa recorded the maximum temperature between 40 degrees Celsius and 44 degrees Celsius. In Uttarakhand, heavy overnight rains triggered a landslide in Dakhim village of Pithoragarh district, leaving four persons including two women and a child injured, apart from damaging houses and killing livestock, an official said.

SDRF personnel have been rushed to the spot to launch relief and rescue efforts, Sub-Divisional Magistrate A K Shukla said.

The injured were identified as Ramauti Devi (75), Nara Devi (35), Bhupal Singh (35) and 4-year-old Lakki.

Maximum temperatures hovered close to normal range in Haryana and Punjab on Monday with common capital Chandigarh recording a maximum of 36 degrees Celsius.

In Haryana, Ambala recorded a maximum of 36.3 degrees Celsius, while Bhiwani and Hisar were at 40.6 degrees Celsius and 40.9 degrees Celsius, respectively. Karnal recorded a high of 39 degrees Celsius.

In Punjab, Amritsar recorded a high of 35 degrees Celsius, while Ludhiana registered a high of 35.9 degrees Celsius. Patiala's maximum settled at 37.6 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, a 45-year-old woman drowned in a rivulet in spate due to rains in Akot tehsil of Maharashtra's Akola district on Monday, an official said.

The incident happened in Vadali Deshmukh village when Sangita Wadokar was engaged in farm-related work and entered the rivulet, he said. 'An accidental death case was registered,' Inspector Dnyanoba Phad of Akot Rural police station said.

In Chhattisgarh, three people including a woman were allegedly buried in cow dung by some villagers in a bid to 'cure' them after lightning struck them in the tribal-dominated Jashpur district, a police official said on Monday.

They were later shifted to a hospital where two of them were declared brought dead, he said.

The incident took place on Sunday evening when the three were working in paddy fields in Baagbahar village of the district, located around 400 km from the state capital Raipur, Jashpur Sub-Divisional Officer of Police Rajendra Parihar told PTI.

When the rainfall and thunderstorm started, they took shelter under a tree in a field. Suddenly, lightning struck there, causing serious injuries to the three people, he said.

Instead of taking them to hospital, their family members and some villagers buried them from bottom to neck in cow dung as part of a superstitious practice among them.

'The villagers in the area believe cow dung has the power to heal burn injuries,' he said.

Later, when some other villagers intervened, the three victims were shifted to a local hospital where two of them - Sunil Sai (22) and Champa Raut (20) - were declared brought dead, the official said.

The other injured person, aged 23, was undergoing treatment at the hospital, he said.

In Uttar Pradesh, state capital Lucknow recorded a maximum temperature of 32.5 degrees Celsius, and a minimum of 22.8 degrees Celsius.

According to the meteorological department, rainfall was recorded in Ballia (7.0 cm), Gorakhpur (3.6 cm), Jhansi (1 cm), Fursatganj (7.4 mm), Varanasi (4.6 mm), Banda (4.0 mm) and Muzaffarnagar (3.0 mm).

Agra was the hottest city in UP, where maximum temperature touched 41.6 degrees Celsius.

Rain/thundershower is very likely at many places over eastern UP and at a few places over western UP on June 30. PTI TEAM TIR TIR