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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Monsoon rains hit Jaisalmer, flood Dharamshala but elude Delhi; lightning kills 41 across country

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said all possible support is being extended to the flood-ravaged Himachal Pradesh.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 12, 2021 10:22:44 pm
Kullu: A view of Beas river in spate after heavy rain in Kullu district, Monday, July 12, 2021. (PTI Photo) (PTI07_12_2021_000177A)

Southwest monsoon rains on Monday hit Jaisalmer and Ganganagar –– the desert districts of Rajasthan –– but gave Delhi and parts of Haryana a miss.

It rained in Delhi’s periphery –– Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh and Karnal in Haryana –– while clouds hovered over the national capital, without giving any relief from the heat, thus making it the most delayed monsoon since 2002. That year, the monsoon arrived on July 19.

West Rajasthan, Punjab and some parts of Haryana also received precipitation.

The northern limit of the southwest monsoon is currently passing through Nagaur, Jaisalmer, Bharatpur, Aligarh, Karnal and Ganganagar, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. The southwest monsoon usually covers Ganganagar and Jaisalmer after covering almost the entire country.

“In association with continued prevalence of moist easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal in the lower levels since the past three days, enhanced cloud cover and scattered to fairly widespread rainfall during past 24 hours, the southwest monsoon has further advanced and covered most parts of Rajasthan and Punjab and some more parts of Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh on July 12,” news agency PTI quoted the Met office as saying.

A man cover themselves polythene look flooded street as it rains in Jammu, Monday, July.12, 2021.(AP Photo)

IMD issues orange alert for Raj, J&K; yellow for many North Indian states

The IMD has issued an orange alert for Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir, and yellow alert for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh for Tuesday while warning the states of heavy rains. Red alert has been signalled for Konkan and Goa, and central Maharashtra, while an orange alert warning has been issued for Gujarat, parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam, it said. Yellow alert has been also issued for Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, parts of West Bengal and Kerala.

The IMD said heavy to very heavy rains are likely in isolated areas over Konkan and Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Meghalaya on Tuesday. Heavy rains are also predicted over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Yanam, Kerala and Mahe on Tuesday, the IMD said. Certain places in Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Gangetic West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, coast Andhra Pradesh, Rayalseema and Yanam, and Telangana is expected to witness thunderstorm and lighting.

Vehicles trapped in and damaged by flood due to heavy rain after a cloudburst at Mcleodganj near Dharamshala on Monday. (Express Photo by Pradeep Kumar)

Cars, buildings swept away in flash floods triggered by heavy rains in HP’s Dharamshala

Heavy rains wreaked havoc in parts of Himachal Pradesh triggering flash floods that damaged buildings and cars at tourist spots. The bad weather also led to the closure of the airport here.

Video clips showed that a drain near Bhagsu Nag in upper Dharamsala adjoining Mecleodganj changed its course due to the heavy rains, sweeping away four cars and several bikes. A government school building at Bhagsunag was also damaged and adjacent hotels were inundated.

Visuals also showed an overflowing Manjhi river in Dharamshala, wiping away nearly 10 shops in the area. In Shimla, the national highway near Jhakri in the Rampur area has been blocked due to the heavy downpour, ANI reported.

The district administration has instructed tourists to postpone their visit to Dharamsala in view of the heavy rains. “Instructions have also been given to people to not go to sensitive places prone to landslides. Some people have also been shifted to safer places due to flood conditions in some areas of the district,” PTI quoted Deputy Commissioner Dr Nipun Jindal as saying.

Flood water surges through a street amid heavy rain after a cloudburst at Mcleodganj near Dharamshala on Monday. (Express Photo by Pradeep Kumar)

Officials have been directed to complete relief and rehabilitation of the displaced immediately, and control rooms have been set up, he said. Steps have also been taken to make the weather forecast available to the public.

Jindal said according to the IMD’s prediction, the state will continue to receive heavy rains till July 16. Keeping this in mind, orders have been issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005 to district officers of all the departments in Kangra district to remain alert.

PM Modi assures all-possible support to flood-ravaged Himachal

PM Narendra Modi said all possible support is being extended to the flood-ravaged state. “The situation in Himachal Pradesh due to heavy rains is being closely monitored. Authorities are working with the State Government. All possible support is being extended. I pray for the safety of those in affected areas,” Modi tweeted.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah too spoke to Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur to take stock of the situation and assured him all the possible help from the Centre. “NDRF teams are reaching there soon for relief work. The Ministry of Home Affairs is continuously monitoring the situation,” Shah tweeted in Hindi.

Meanwhile, newly-appointed Information and Broadcasting Minister and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anurag Thakur, who hails from the state, appealed to the public and tourists alike to take full care and not go towards water sources. “The Central and State Governments are working with better coordination to deal with the fierce form of natural calamity in Devbhoomi Himachal. There is an appeal to all the tourists and the general public to take full care, do not leave the houses unnecessarily and do not go towards the water sources,” he tweeted.

Jaipur: A commuter crosses a road as ot rains during a lightning strike in the sky, in Jaipur, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (PTI Photo)

41 killed in lightning in Rajasthan, UP and MP

At least 41 people were killed in separate incidents of lightning in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, news agency PTI reported on Monday. Following this, PM Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.

A total of 23 people, including 12 in Jaipur, were killed and 27 injured in lightning strikes in Rajasthan. Besides Jaipur, the deaths were reported from Kota, Jhalawar, Baran, Dholpur, Sawai Madhopur and Tonk — according to the Disaster Management and Relief department.

In Jaipur, 12 people, mostly youngsters, were killed and 11 injured after a lightning strike at the iconic watch-tower near the Amber Fort, the officials said. Some of them were taking “selfies” on the watch-tower, while the others were on the hill nearby, they said. Those on the tower fell on the ground when the lightning struck Sunday late in the evening.

Lucknow: A policeman uses an umbrella tent to protect himself during heavy rain un Lucknow, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Anand Kumar, Principal Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief department, said the state government has released Rs 1.65 crore to the district collectors concerned for ex gratia assistance to the dependents of the deceased and the treatment of the injured.

Meanwhile, at least 12 people were killed in separate lightning incidents in Fatehpur, Kaushambi and Firozabad districts of Uttar Pradesh in the last 24 hours, officials said. Five people including three women died in Fatehpur, three were killed in Firozabad and four in Kaushambi, they said.

Apart from this, six people, including two minors, were killed and 11 others injured in separate incidents of lightning in parts of Madhya Pradesh.

PM Modi expressed pain at the loss of lives across the country due to lightning and announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased. “Saddened by the loss of lives due to lightning in parts of Madhya Pradesh. The State Government will provide all possible assistance to the affected. From the PMNRF, Rs. 2 lakh would be given to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured: PM Modi,” PMO tweeted.

Water logging near Gurdev Hospital on Ferozepur Road in Ludhiana.

Uttarakhand: Biker swept away in flooded rivulet

A biker was washed away by the swift currents of a rivulet inundated by heavy falls between Tharali and Gwaladam in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Monday, the police said. He was trying to cross the swollen Lolti rivulet when he lost control of the vehicle, Tharali Station House Officer (SHO) Dhwaj Vir Singh said.

After locals alerted the police about the incident, a search operation was launched. The bike was found stuck about 100 metres downstream but the man couldn’t be traced, the SHO said.

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