Torrential Rains Lash Northern States, Several Rivers Swell
Heavy rains lashed northern states on Saturday, with an alert sounded in Punjab following release of excess water from Bhakra dam and the Chambal river in Rajasthan flowing 12 metres above the danger mark, while normalcy was slowly returning to flood-ravaged Kerala, where so far 113 people have lost their lives.
Andhra Pradesh too received heavy showers, with a swollen Krishna river leaving 87 villages and hundreds of acres of farm land under a sheet of water in two districts. National Disaster Response Force personnel retrieved the body of a girl who drowned in Krishna district, taking the death toll to two in the state.
According to the India Meteorological Department, heavy to very heavy rains are likely in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi in the next 48 hours. There were flash floods in Kathua and Samba districts of the Jammu region, while the Yamuna was nearing warning level.
The body of a 17-year-old boy was found floating in the overflowing dam in Himachal Pradesh, where several roads were blocked following multiple landslides and flash floods.
All educational institutions in Kangra district have also been asked to remain closed on Saturday due to incessant rainfall.
Red flags were installed in the district near all khads and tributaries to warn people against venturing near them as heavy rains led to a rise in water levels.
In Punjab, an alert has been sounded in several districts following the release of excess water from Bhakra dam through the spill gates after heavy rainfall in its catchment area.
Authorities at the Bhakra Beas Management Board discharged 17,000 cusecs of excess water out of total release of 53,000 cusecs through the spill gates, an official said.
The remaining 36,000 cusecs was released after its use for power generation, he added.
On Saturday, rains lashed several places in Punjab, including Ludhiana, Amritsar, Mohali and Chandigarh.
People living near the Sutlej river and low-lying areas have been advised to be vigilant and take precautions to safeguard themselves.
With the Yamuna also flowing near the warning level, Delhi agencies are closely monitoring the situation to deal with any possible flooding, an official said.
Yamuna's water level reached 203.27 metres, slightly below the warning level of 204.5 metres, an official said.
At 10 am, over 21,000 cusecs water was released from Hathani Kund Barrage in Haryana. Besides, around 17,000 cusecs water was also released from the barrage, he said.
In Rajasthan, several rivers and dams are overflowing due to incessant rainfall and adequate measures are being taken to keep the situation under control, officials said.
Gegal in Ajmer recorded 15 cm rainfall followed by Mount Abu 14 cm, Kishangarh and Pushkar 13 cm, and Taragarh 11 cm during the last 24 hours ending on Saturday morning, according to the MeT department.
The Chambal river is flowing at 140.50 metres, 12 metres above the danger mark in Dholpur, the officials said.
A district administration official said nearly 12 roads are disconnected due to heavy rains and 40 villages are facing a flood-like situation.
In Tonk, Bisalpur dam is almost filled and it's gates can be opened at anytime.
The sub-divisional magistrate of Deoli in Tonk has issued an advisory saying the decision to open gates may be taken anytime.
He also asked the block level officials to ensure that people from low-lying areas and villages are shifted if required.
Heavy rains also disrupted normal life in Jammu, where a 47-year-old man was feared drowned while 15 people were rescued following flash floods in Kathua and Samba districts.
Several parts of the Jammu region were lashed by heavy showers, raising water level in major rivers, including Tawi, and leaving some low-lying areas submerged.
Katra recorded the highest 133.4 mm of rainfall since Friday night, a spokesman of the MeT office said.
People have started moving to their homes from relief camps in Kerala, even as the toll climbed to 113, with authorities retrieving more bodies from landslide-hit Malappuram and Wayanad districts.
Fifty people have so far lost their lives in Malappuram and 12 in Wayanad, the two northern districts, where 28 people are still missing.
Search operations are continuing at Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Wayanad, the two areas which were the worst hit in the second spell of south west monsoon rains since August 8, where massive landslides had wiped out two villages.
Kolkata, which is being battered by torrential rains, received 186.1 mm rainfall during the last 24 hours till Saturday noon.
Vehicular traffic was disrupted in several areas of central, south and north Kolkata, resulting in traffic snarls.
Flight operations were also affected, as take-off and landing was delayed, said a senior official of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.
Eastern Railway CPRO Nikhil K Chakraborty said circular railway services were cancelled from 10.40 am onwards, due to waterlogging.