Rains hit north, east India; flood toll rises to 31, lightning kills 27

World Saturday 30/July/2016 20:07 PM
By: Times News Service
Rains hit north, east India; flood toll rises to 31, lightning kills 27

New Delhi: Rains lashed northern and eastern parts of the country aggravating the flood situation in Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar and West Bengal, where 31 people have died, and crippling normal life in Delhi and Gurgaon, while lightning strikes in Odisha claimed 27 lives.
Floods in Assam have killed 26 people and affected nearly 37 lakh people across more than 3,300 villages in 28 districts of the state, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.
According to official reports, flood waters have risen following heavy rainfall in the upper catchment areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan as well as in the state.
In Meghalaya, at least three people were killed and two went missing as flood waters submerged the West Garo Hills district on Saturday, an official said.
Even as the back flow of Brahmaputra and Jinjiram rivers has gone down marginally, many villages were inundated due to incessant rainfall.
In Bihar, many rivers are flowing above danger level, as flood continued to wreak havoc, affecting 26.19 lakh people.
Two more districts of East Champaran and Muzaffarpur were declared as flood-hit.
Two minor girls were swept away by waters of Burhidangi river in Bihar's Kishanganj district following incessant rains, an official said, adding their bodies were fished out with the help of NDRF personnel.
According to the MeT office, Patna received 18.3 mm rainfall since yesterday, while Purnea witnessed 28.9 mm rains during the same period.
In Delhi, the ripple effect of the massive gridlock in Gurgaon due to flooding of streets continued to be felt with several areas witnessing crawling traffic which received highest rainfall in 10 years.
Palam observatory recorded 144 mm rainfall in a span of 24 hours from 5.30 PM on Friday out of which 80 mm of rains were recorded in a span of mere three hours from 5:30am to 8.30am on Saturday. Prior to this, the record stood at 126 mm of rain on Thursday.
Delhi Traffic Police took to micro-blogging site Twitter to caution commuters of congestion due to waterlogging and said the situation is likely to continue till Sunday.
The chock-a-block situation in Gurgaon eased but overnight rains contributed to slow traffic movement, an official said.
In Odisha, eight deaths were reported from Bhadrak district, while there were seven casualties in Balasore district, five in Khurda, three in Mayurbhanj and one each in Kendrapara, Jajpur, Keonjhar and Nayagarh, police said.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who visited the flood-affected areas of Assam, said the "grave and challenging" situation was beyond his imagination.
“I did not imagine that the situation is so grave. I have spoken to the chief minister and his officials. The problem is a big challenge," Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said at a press conference after undertaking an aerial view of some places in the state.
"The state government currently has Rs 620 crore under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). I have asked them to spend it without any hesitation. If more fund is needed, we are there and we will help in every possible way," he said.
Heavy rainfall also occurred at a few places over Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts of sub-Himalayan region of West Bengal.
In Mumbai, incessant rains continued to hit city and neighbouring districts, throwing normal life out of gear even as weathermen predicted heavy showers across the state for Sunday.
Other parts of Maharashtra also received moderate to heavy downpour in the last 24 hours.
In a rain related incident, a security guard was injured when a tree branch fell on him near the Income tax office at Churchgate following which he was rushed to a civic hospital.
In Uttar Pradesh light to moderate rain fell in many places even as major rivers Sharda, Ghaghra and Rapti were flowing at dangerous levels or above it at different points in the state.