North India reels under landslides, floods as heavy rains in Himachal, Bengal claim 9 lives; high-alert issued for Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra, Telangana

FP Staff

Several states across the country continue to grapple with heavy rainfall, floods, and landslides, with parts of Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, and Delhi witnessing 'extremely heavy' rainfall over the weekend. While a weather alert of landslides and floods has been issued in Uttarakhand, eight people on Sunday lost their lives in rain-related in Himachal Pradesh.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), 'heavy' to 'very heavy' rainfall is expected in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi on Monday and Tuesday. In the south, heavy rain is likely in isolated places over Kerala, South interior Karnataka, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, and Telangana.

Floods and landslides have occurred in many places across Himachal Pradesh, which saw 'very heavy' to 'extremely heavy' rainfall over the Friday and Saturday, reports said. National highways passing through the state have been closed, along with at least 300 local roads. Movement of vehicular traffic was stopped near Chamba bus stand in the state after a portion of the road was damaged due to continuous rainfall.

A bridge over the Beas river, in the Kullu district, also collapsed on Sunday due to a rise in the water level of the river. On Saturday, hundreds were stranded in Himachal Pradesh after incessant rainfall caused landslides and cut rendered roads unusable.

In neighbouring Uttarakhand, intermittent spells of rainfall are expected in at least 13 districts including Almora and Nainital on Sunday and Monday. Floods and landslides are reportedly likely to occur as a result.

On Saturday, flash floods following heavy rainfall hit the Kathua and Samba districts of Jammu and Kashmir, where a man was feared drowned and 15 people, most of them belonging to a local nomadic community, were rescued on Saturday. Heavy rains lashed several parts of Jammu region, raising water level in major rivers, including in the Tawi, and leaving some low-lying areas submerged, PTI reported.

Delhi also received heavy rainfall on Saturday night, leading to waterlogging in the city. Reports have predicted that rains will continue on Sunday and then reduce.

An alert of heavy rainfall has also been issued in Punjab and Rajasthan for the next few days, after the release of excess water from the Bhakra dam in the former and the Chambal river following several metres above the danger mark in the latter.

In West Bengal, life was disrupted in most parts of Kolkata on Saturday, following torrential rain that led to waterlogging in low-lying areas and snapped road links at several places. The city received 186.1 millimetres rainfall over Friday and Saturday, reports said. The MET office has forecast heavy rain and the civic body found it tough to drain out rain waters as the precipitation continued throughout Saturday.

A man in his thirties was killed and 15 others were injured on Friday in lightning strike at Kolkata's iconic Victoria Memorial Complex as heavy rain battered the city and disrupted flight operations, reported NDTV.

Meanwhile, as the southern and western-central states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Maharashtra are getting back to normalcy after the flood-waters receded, the IMD has predicted heavy rainfall on Monday over Karnataka's Hassan, Kodagu, Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Mysore, among other districts.

Likewise, in Tamil Nadu's Chennai, rains lashed several parts of the city and its neighbourhood on Sunday with the IMD office forecasting more showers during the next two days. In a bulletin, the weather office said heavy to very heavy rain was likely to occur at isolated places over Tamil Nadu, Karaikal, and Puducherry in the next two days.

Two people died in Andhra Pradesh after several villages and hundreds of acres of farmland remained under a sheet of water in Krishna and Guntur districts even as the flood fury in river Krishna showed signs of abating on Saturday.

The discharges from upstream reservoirs showed a declining trend in the two districts but flood-related troubles for more than 17,500 people in 87 villages in Krishna and Guntur may continue on Monday. In the two districts, 24 villages were completely inundated by the flood, PTI reported.

In all, 11,553 people in the two districts have been moved to 56 relief camps where food and drinking water are being provided. In the villages along the river course, people are reluctant to move out of their houses despite the flooding, reminding of the scenario during the massive floods in 1998 and 2009.

According to reports, in the last two weeks, more than 270 people have died and over 10 lakh have been displaced due to floods and landslides in different parts of the country. Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra are among the worst-hit states.

In Kerala, which suffered its worst deluge in a century last year, over 100 people have died and lakhs have been displaced in the last week. Floods and landslides in Karnataka have killed at least 60 people and in flood-hit Maharashtra, at least 50 people have died. In Madhya Pradesh, floods have killed at least 40 people.

Most of India has been affected by the incessant monsoon rains this year, which have been creating havoc in many states, both killing and displacing people. States have sought help from NDRF, Army, Navy and Air Force as well as teams of local police and SDRF for the rescue efforts, as noted by India Today.

As reported by News18, so far in August, 67 percent less rainfall has been observed as compared to the average. The month's average is 116.1 millimetres and it has observed 39.1 millimetres which is 77 millimetres less. The seasonal average is 392.2 millimetres rainfall and it has been recorded at 249.5 millimetres till now which is 36 percent less than the average, the MeT Department said.

However, reports also claimed that there was a two percent rain surplus for the whole country this year. The Hindu Businessline reported, "Rainfall figures for the country as a whole is in surplus to the extent of two percent, with nine Met sub-divisions across Western and contiguous North and South India, including Gujarat and Saurashtra, recording individual surpluses.

"The trend might largely hold for the rest of the month at least in the North, with the IMD suspecting that a fresh low-pressure area might develop over West-Central and adjoining North-West Bay of Bengal sooner than later."

Also See: Floods in North India: 22 dead in Himachal Pradesh, eight missing in Uttarakhand; flood alert in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab

Floods ravage at least 8 states as overall toll rises to 200 in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka; rescue ops escalated

India rains: Karnataka announces holiday for schools, colleges today due to heavy downpour; Red alert issued in three districts of Kerala

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