Lightning kills 6 in Odisha, over 53,000 evacuated from flood-hit Maha villages

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New Delhi, Sep 1 (PTI) At least six people were killed after being struck by lightning in Odisha while more than 53,000 people were evacuated from 175 villages in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region where flooding occurred following heavy rains and release of water from dams, officials said on Tuesday.

As many as 644 villages in 16 districts of Uttar Pradesh are still affected by flood while over 9,000 people were shifted to safer places in Gujarat's Bharuch, Narmada and Vadodara districts with the Narmada river swelling due to heavy inflow from upstream dams.

The weather in Delhi was dry and sunny as the maximum temperature settled at 34.7 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the season. The maximum humidity settled at 89 per cent.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), light rain is expected in the national capital on Wednesday.

In Odisha, those who died due to lightning strike included a 12-year-old girl. The minor was playing in front of her house at Pandua village in Keonjhar district when lightning struck her, police said.

A 55-year-old farmer was killed after being hit by lightning in nearby Sapuasahi village while two other farmers died after being struck by lightning when they were working in the paddy field at Inchol and Baharipur village.

In Balasore district, a 28-year-old man was killed and two others were injured at Gobaghata village. They were working in the paddy field when lightning struck them, police said.

A 59-year-old woman was killed in Kaubani village when she was walking on the road, they said.

In Maharashtra, more than 53,000 people have been evacuated from 175 villages of Nagpur, Bhandara, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts in Vidarbha region where flooding occurred following heavy rains and release of water from dams.

Over 92,000 people have been affected by the flooding and heavy showers in these four districts in the last few days, a report released by the Nagpur divisional commissionerate said.

Eleven rescue and relief teams, including of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the Army, are engaged mostly in Chandrapur and Bhandara districts, it said.

Following incessant rains during the weekend in East Vidarbha region and Madhya Pradesh, water was released from various dams of Maharashtra and the neighbouring state, causing flooding in several various villages of East Vidarbha.

Till 1 pm on Tuesday, 53,224 people from 175 affected villages of the Nagpur division have been shifted to safer places, the report said.

Two teams of the Army were deployed in Pombhurna tehsil and Ladaj village of Brahmapuri tehsil of Chandrapur for relief and rescue works, district disaster management officer Jitesh Survade said, adding that water has started receding in these places.

In Gujarat, over 9,000 people were shifted to safer places in Bharuch, Narmada and Vadodara districts with the Narmada river swelling due to heavy inflow from upstream dams.

The intensity of showers decreased during the day, but in the last three days, rain-related accidents claimed 12 lives in the state.

With continuous inflow of water from upstream dams, mainly the Indira Sagar in Madhya Pradesh, the water level of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) on the Narmada has now reached 133 meters against its top level of 138.68 meters, he said.

The state government said the water discharge in the Narmada would be curtailed after 10 pm on Tuesday as the outflow from Indira Sagar dam has been reduced from 11.40 lakh cusec to 7.40 lakh cusec.

After a heavy spell for three days, the rain took a break on Tuesday with only light to moderate showers recorded in some parts of Gujarat. In Uttar Pradesh, as many as 644 villages are affected by floods in 16 districts of the state even as some parts of the state received light rain.

According to Relief Commissioner Sanjay Goyal, of the 644 villages affected, 300 are cut off from other parts of the districts, he said.

River Ganga was flowing above the danger mark in Ballia and river Sharda at Palia Kalan in Lakhimpur Khiri, they added.

Very light to light rain occurred at isolated places over eastern Uttar Pradesh, while weather was dry over western Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.

Rain/thundershower is very likely at many places over eastern part of the state and at a few places over western Uttar Pradesh on September 2, it said.

Rain/thundershower is very likely at few places in the state and light thunderstorm accompanied with lightning is very likely at isolated places over the state on September 3 and September 4.

Meanwhile, moderate to heavy rainfall was recorded in several parts of Rajasthan in the last 24 hours with the maximum rainfall being recorded in Sanchore of Jalore at 7.9 cm.

According to the Meteorological department, heavy rain is likely to occur in Alwar, Bharatpur, Bundi, Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Sawai Madhopur, Tonk, Bikaner, Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar districts in the next 24 hours.

The maximum temperatures in Haryana and Punjab continued to hover close to normal limits.

Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a high of 33.6 degrees Celsius, according to the Meteorological department here. The Met department has forecast 'rain or thunder showers at few to many places in' both the states over the next two days. PTI TEAM RHL