Over the last few days, heavy rain has battered parts of north India, adversely affecting states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as national capital Delhi. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab will continue receiving heavy to very heavy rainfall due to an interaction between a western disturbance and monsoonal winds.
The intense rainfall spell has brought north India to its knees with rivers overflowing, roads landslides blocking mountain roads, waterlogging in the plains, and leaving several dead in rain-related incidents. At least 22 people were killed in Himachal and neighbouring areas and 34 were reported dead across Uttar Pradesh in rain-related incidents in the last 24 hours.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to senior ministers and officials and took stock of the monsoon situation in the wake of excessive rainfall in several states. Local administrations, NDRF and SDRF teams are working to ensure the well-being of those affected, the PMO said.
Schools remained closed in parts of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, Delhi NCR and Himachal Pradesh on Monday due to the torrential rain. In Punjab's Ludhiana district, heavy rainfall wreaked havoc in the region, causing major waterlogging.
Here are the top rain updates from north India:
Yamuna river crossed the danger mark of 205.33 metres on Monday as torrential rains pummelled the upper catchment areas of the river for the third day on the trot. Officials said that the river breached the mark a day earlier than expected. The water level is anticipated to rise to 206.65 metres on Tuesday before it starts receding.
Addressing a presser earlier today, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said that Delhi received 153mm of rain on July 8 and 9. "Delhi's systems are not designed to take such unprecedented rain, so people faced troubles," he said, adding that it is not the time point fingers at each other. "The governments of all affected states need to work together to provide relief to the public."
Over the weekend, chaotic visuals of walls collapsing and roads caving in surfaced. Atul Garg, Director, Delhi Fire Service said that a total of 13 incidents of house collapses were reported in the capital city. "This is very unprecedented, we have never received so many calls over house collapse...2 people have died in house collapse cases so far and 3 children have been injured," he said.
The hilly state of Himachal Pradesh was brought to a standstill due to flash floods, landslides and overflowing rivers caused by the downpour. Twenty people were stranded in the tourist town of Manali and later rescued, whereas about 300 others were stranded across other parts of the state on Monday. "Many tourists are stranded in Kullu but they all are safe. Mobile network is badly disrupted in Manali and interior areas but we are taking updates through wireless," said Kullu Deputy Commissioner Ashutosh Garg on the current situation.
Parts of Himachal Pradesh witnessed major landslides and flash floods over the past 24 to 48 hours. Devastating floods in the rivers like Beas, Satluj, Ravi, Chenab (Chandra Bhaga) and other overflowing tributaries viz Uhl, Parvati, Tirthan and Sainj due to widespread rains caused major disruption in the day-to-day lives of people. Massive landslides on the National Highway viz Parwanoo-Shimla, Kiratpur-Manali and Pathankot-Mandi and on the strategic Shimla-Reckong Peo further added to the devastation as shooting boulders and stones endeared the lives of commuters.
On Sunday, fourteen major landslides and 13 flash floods were reported. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team conducted a late-night rescue operation after six people were stranded in the Beas River near Nagwain village in Mandi district due to the rise in the water level of the river following incessant rainfall in the state.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari reviewed the flood situation and its impact on National Highways in Himachal and other affected states, including Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. He instructed officials to prioritize the repair and maintenance of the affected highways.
The weather office has warned that moderate to heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms is very likely to continue in the districts of Bilaspur, Solan, Shimla, Sirmaur, Una, Hamirpur, Mandi and Kullu in most places and very heavy rainfall is likely to occur at isolated places. Light to moderate rainfall is likely to occur at a few places in the rest of the districts.
Jammu and Kashmir
The popular Amarnath Yatra remained suspended from Jammu for the third consecutive day on Monday due to extensive damage caused to a section of the Jammu-Srinagar Highway in Ramban, officials said. Earlier today, a 59-year-old pilgrim from Madhya Pradesh stranded at Yatri Niwas Chanderkote died of a suspected heart attack, PTI reported. He complained of chest pain and was initially attended by the doctors present there and then referred to district hospital Ramban for specialized treatment but was declared brought dead
More than 6,000 pilgrims are stranded at Chanderkote Yatri Niwas since Friday due to inclement weather and the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway due to multiple landslides and the washing away of a road near Panthiyal tunnel and Seeri. Suryavansham was the third Amarnath pilgrim who died in the Jammu region since the commencement of the yatra in south Kashmir Himalayas on July 1.
Incessant rains and landslides in Uttarakhand claimed six lives on Sunday and authorities in the hill state have sounded a red alert as water level rose in all major rivers, including the Ganga. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami urged people to avoid unnecessary movement and requested pilgrims coming to the state to plan their journey only after getting the latest weather information.
In Madhya Pradesh, the NDRF team rescued four people after a more than 13-hour operation who were trapped in the Narmada River near Gopalpur Village in Jabalpur. The four persons, belonging to Garhapurva in Jabalpur town, had gone at the spot for fishing on Sunday afternoon.
The Punjab government has directed ministers, deputy commissioners, senior superintendents of police and other officials concerned to visit the affected areas and provide the required assistance. Chandigarh administration has set up 3 emergency control rooms and 18 quick response teams to address the situation.
The IMD had predicted light to moderate widespread rainfall with isolated instances of heavy to very heavy rainfall in the Western Himalayan Region, Punjab, Haryana-Chandigarh, Delhi, and Rajasthan on Monday. Uttar Pradesh was also forecasted to experience isolated extremely heavy rainfall today, while heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely from July 10-12.