Flood-like situation in Karnataka, death toll in Kerala landslides climbs to 24

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NEW DELHI, Aug 8 (PTI): Battered by torrential rains, several parts of Karnataka faced a flood-like situation on Saturday, while the death toll in the massive landslide in Kerala climbed to 24 and the number of people hit by the deluge in Bihar rose to over 73 lakh.

The flood situation in Assam continued to improve with the waters ebbing from two districts and remaining in only four, affecting 6,435 people, an Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) bulletin said.

In Uttar Pradesh, the number of flood-hit districts rose to 18, while the water level of the flooded Panchganga river in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district reduced to some extent but it is still above the danger mark. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the southwest monsoon will become active again in the coastal areas of Maharashtra on August 10 and it forecast moderate to heavy rains for Delhi from Sunday.

While the MeT Department issued a yellow weather warning for Himachal Pradesh for the next two day, it predicted heavy rains for Haryana and Punjab and lights showers for Rajasthan, which witnessed light rainfall on Saturday.

In Kerala, the death toll in the massive landslide, which occurred on Friday, and flattened a row of 20 houses of tea estate workers in the high range Idukki district climbed to 24, as efforts were underway amid continuing rains to locate those missing.

As per the records available with the district administration, 46 people are still missing.

Police, fire service personnel and the locals have teamed with two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and are searching for missing persons feared trapped in the debris that has been spread over in the area.

Twelve people were rescued on Friday and are receiving treatment, Idukki District Collector H Dineshan said.

In Karnataka, swollen rivers and flood-like situation continued to threaten lives and property in several parts that have been ravaged by torrential rains over the last few days. Though there has been a respite from the downpour in some parts, rivers continue to flow above the danger mark, inundating low-lying areas in several parts of Malnad, coastal and interior Karnataka.

Delhi is likely to witness heavy rains over the next four days. Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the IMD’s regional forecasting center, said the monsoon trough is likely to shift northward and will stay close to the Delhi-NCR region from Sunday evening to Wednesday.

“During this period, southwesterly winds from the Arabian Sea and easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal will reach Haryana, Delhi-NCR and west Uttar Pradesh in lower levels. A cyclonic circulation will also develop over Madhya Pradesh and adjoining UP at the same time,” he said.

In Bihar, 73 lakh people were affected by floods as the swollen rivers, originating in Nepal and flowing through north Bihar, continued to wreak havoc. The size of the affected population grew by two lakh since the previous day though no loss of lives were reported during the period and the death toll remained stable at 23.

Altogether, 16 districts of the state have been reeling under floods caused by rivers like Kosi, Bagmati, Kareh, Kamla Balan, Gandak and Budhi Gandak.

In Uttar Pradesh, Sharda, Rapti and Saryu-Ghagra rivers continued to flow above the danger mark in different places as the number of flood-affected districts rose to 18.

Deoria was hit by the deluge on Saturday. So far, 672 villages have been inundated, according to a statement issued by Relief Commissioner Sanjay Goyal. The statement said 460 villages in these districts are marooned.

The Sharda river in Lakhimpur Kheri’s Palia Kalan, Rapti river in Gorakhpur’s Bird Ghat, Sarya-Ghagra in Ayodhya’s Elgin Bridge and Ballia’s Turti Paar were flowing above the red mark, the state’s irrigation department said.

In Assam, no deaths were reported due to the natural calamity from anywhere in the state during the day as the floodwaters receded from Chirang and Kamrup Metropolitan districts and remained in Dhemaji, Baksa, Kokrajhar and Morigaon districts. Baksa is the worst-hit district, followed by Dhemaji and Morigaon. In Baksa, 98 villages have been inundated by the floodwaters affecting 2,000 people. In Dhemaji, 1,958 people are in the grip of the flood, while in Morigaon the figure is 1,718. The Brahmaputra river is, however, flowing above the danger mark at Neamatighat in Jorhat district, the ASDMA bulletin said.

In Maharashtra, water level of the river at Rajaram weir (barrage), located on the outskirts of Kolhapur city, was recorded at 44.6 feet, receding by four inches since Friday evening. The danger mark of the river at the weir is at 43 feet, he said.

The IMD said the southwest monsoon will become active again in the coastal areas of Maharashtra on August 10 and will remain so for the next seven days.

As the MeT issued a yellow weather warning for Himachal Pradesh, light to moderate rains occurred at isolated places over the state in the past 24 hours. Light to moderate rains  occurred in parts of Rajasthan as well, with Sikar recording the maximum of 24.2 mm rainfall, the Meteorological Department said.

In Punjab and Haryana, the maximum temperatures settled a few notches above normal levels. Chandigarh, the common capital of both states, recorded its high of 36 degrees Celsius, four degrees above normal.

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