Monsoon rains lash north, east India; flood toll at 31, lightning kills 27
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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 on Saturday 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 National Disaster Response Force personnel.
According to the Met office, Patna received 18.3 mm rainfall since Friday, 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 5.30pm since 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 28 July 2009.
The chock-a-block situation in Gurgaon eased on Saturday 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.