Thursday, Oct 06, 2022
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Cloudbursts, Landslides, Flood: How Monsoon Continues To Batter Several Parts Of India This Year

A cloudburst occurred in a village in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand in the wee hours of Saturday while a landslide killed three in Himachal's Chamba. Vaishno Devi Yatra got suspended temporaily and a fresh spell of rain hits flood-affected Odisha.

Representational Image
Representational Image PTI

From triggering frequent landslides and cloudbursts to causing massive deluges, monsoon this year continues to jeopardise lives of thousands of people across multiple states of the country. 

Here's a brief account of what is happening where.

Cloudburst in Dehradun, swollen rivers wash away bridges

A cloudburst hit the Raipur-Kumalda area here in the early hours of Saturday, causing rivers to breach their banks and wash away bridges, officials said.

Water also entered the caves of Tapkeshwar, a famous Shiva temple on the banks of the Tons river, they said.

The cloudburst occurred around 2.15 am. A bridge over the Song river was washed away and the Kempty Falls, a popular tourist spot near Mussoorie, was flowing dangerously, the officials said.

Mud entered homes in over a dozen villages following the cloudburst, prompting the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to shift the affected people to safe locations.

The affected villages include Maldevta, Bhutsi, Tauliyakatal, Thatyud, Lavarkha, Ringalgadh, Dhuttu, Ragad Gaon and Sarkhet, according to the officials.

The affected residents have been shifted to schools and panchayat buildings, said Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dhanolti, Lakshmi Raj Chauhan.

The Raipur-Kumalda motor road has been blocked due to debris at a number of places, he said.

The Rishikesh-Badrinath highway is blocked at Totaghati, the Rishikesh-Gangotri highway is blocked at Nagni, and the Narendranagar-Ranipokhri motor road is blocked at several points, Chauhan said.

Landslide kills five in HP's Chamba, schools closed

Five people were killed and 13 others were feared dead in separate incidents of flash flood and landslide triggered by heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh, officials said on Saturday. 

Twenty-two people, who were stranded following a flash flood in the state's Hamirpur district, were evacuated safely, they said. 

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed condolences over the deaths and said that administration is carrying out rescue operations on war-footing in the affected districts. 

According to officials, three people were killed after their house collapsed following a landslide triggered by rains in Chamba district. 

The Chamba district emergency operation centre (DEOC) said the landslide occurred at Banet village in Chowari tehsil around 4.30 am following which a house collapsed, killing three people. 

In Mandi, a girl was killed and 13 others were feared dead in a landslide and flash flood triggered by heavy rains, officials said.  

The body of a girl was recovered about half-a-km away from her house in Baghi Nullah on Mandi-Katola-Prashar road on Friday night, while five members of her family were washed away, state disaster management department officials said.

Several families also left their houses located between Baghi to Old Katola areas after a cloud burst and took shelter at safe places, the department added. 

Besides, eight members of another family are also feared buried under the debris of their house following a landslide at Kashan village in Gohar development block, the department added. 

However, the bodies have not been retrieved yet, it said. 

Several roads in Mandi district have also been blocked following flash flood and multiple landslides. 

Several vehicles were damaged and a number of villagers were stuck in their houses as water entered their houses and shops at Balh, Sadar, Thunag, Mandi and Lamathach, officials said. 

Schools in Himachal Pradesh's Mandi district will remain closed on Saturday due to ongoing incessant rains, a senior administration official said.

Several vehicles parked along the road were damaged and residents remained stuck inside their houses, they said. 

In Kangra, a 'kacha' house collapsed killing a nine-year-old child, officials said.

Himachal Pradesh's disaster management department has issued a warning for landslide due to heavy rains predicted in the state till August 25.

Precipitation is likely to increase during the next 24 hours for the subsequent three-four days with spells of heavy rainfall in parts of Kangra, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Shimla, Sirmaur, Solan, Hamirpur, Una and Bilaspur districts, state disaster management department director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said.   

Mokhta asked district emergency operations centres (DEOCs) to take adequate safety measures as landslides, flash floods, cloudbursts, rock-slides, sudden increase in water level in rivers, poor visibility and disruption of essential services may occur during the period. 

Meanwhile, the Kangra district administration has issued an advisory, asking tourists and people to not go near rivers and streams after the India Meteorological Department predicted moderate to heavy rainfall till August 28. 

Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, Dr Nipun Jindal said, "Tourist and the general public are advised not to go near rivers, streams and other water bodies. Similarly areas vulnerable  to the landslide should also be avoided". 

He also asked authorities to remain alert and respond to any situation that may arise out of the situation. 

Jindal said the the deputy director of the education department has already been instructed to conduct online classes in schools.

Fresh spell of rain hits flooded-affected Odisha

The Odisha government, which is trying hard to tackle the flood in the Mahanadi river system, on Friday said its focus is now on several other rivers in the northern part of the state as the IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall there.

The authorities have started taking measures as the heavy rainfall may worsen the flood situation. 

An official said that a population of five lakh people in 13 districts are affected by the current deluge on Friday, while 2.6 lakh of them are marooned in 470 villages.

“As per the IMD forecast, there is a possibility of heavy to very heavy rainfall in the (northern) districts of Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Bhadrak from tonight. I humbly request you all not to get panicked over it and abide by the instructions of the administration,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said. 

Keeping in view the IMD’s forecast of heavy rainfall, the focus is now on rivers like Baitarani, Subarnarekha, Budhabalang, Salandi and Brahmani, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena told reporters here.

The Mahanadi river has already witnessed peak flood this week and the water level is gradually receding though it still remains above the danger level, Jena said.

“We have analysed the IMD forecast and took measures accordingly. The authorities of the northern Odisha districts along with Bhadrak have been put on alert while the collectors of Mahanadi delta region are also on guard for the eventualities to be created due to the deep depression,” he said.

The rivers originating from these districts may trigger fresh floods due to deep depression-induced rains, he said.

The administration has evacuated 3,000 people living in low-lying areas in Balasore town.

The Bhadrak district administration ordered closure of all schools and Anganwadi centres in view of the heavy rainfall forecast.

Apart from heavy rain, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) also forecast squally wind with speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph is likely to prevail over North Bay of Bengal and along and off Odisha coast till Friday midnight because of the formation of a deep depression.

The wind speed will then gradually decrease to 45-55 kmph gusting 65 kmph by Saturday morning and it will decline further by the evening, the IMD said.

Jharkhand on yellow alert

The Ranchi Meteorological Centre has issued a ‘red alert’ for parts of Jharkhand, where heavy rainfall is likely from Friday evening due to the impact of a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal, officials said.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall might continue till Saturday in many parts of the state, they said.

A ‘red alert’ (07-20 cm rainfall) has been issued for Saraikela-Kharswan, East and West Singhbhum districts, the officials said, adding, some districts in west and central Jharkhand might also experience heavy to very heavy rainfall.

The deep depression over Bay of Bengal is likely to cross West Bengal and Odisha coasts between Balasore and Sagar Islands around Friday evening.

The north-east, south-east and northern parts of the state might experience lightning activity coupled with strong winds (30-55 kmph), the officials said.

“After landfall, it would continue to move west-northwestwards across north Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand towards north Chhattisgarh and weaken gradually,” Ranchi Meteorological Centre In-Charge Abhishek Anand told PTI.

Due to scanty rainfall in the initial months of the monsoon, several districts are facing a drought-like situation, the officials said.

The state has so far received 436.3 mm rainfall from June 1 to August 19 against the normal figure of 700.5 mm during this period.

(With PTI Inputs)

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