Heavy monsoon rains have hit life in north India and wrought havoc in Uttarakhand where the death toll has reached 29. Thousands are stranded after landslides blocked highways. With more rains expected, the situation is likely to worsen in the hill state while flood warnings have also been issued in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi too.
Ten deaths have been reported from Himachal Pradesh while 1,500 tourists are stranded in Kinnaur after the incessant rainfall triggered landslides. Also stranded was Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
In UP, 15 people were killed in heavy rains and floods in Saharanpur and a flood alert has been sounded as the Ganga, Ghaghra and Sharda are running above the danger mark. The situation in Uttarakhand has led to the suspension of the annual Kailash Mansarovar yatra in the aftermath of non-stop rains and consequent landslides.
Rescue operations in the hill state are being conducted by the army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the disaster management authority. Hundreds of pilgrims enroute to the Char Dham Yatra - Badrinath, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Yamunotri - are trapped between landslides and the gushing waters of several rivers. More than 5,000 people were stranded in Uttarkashi, 1,000 in Joshimath, 10,000 in Govindghat, more than 10,000 in Badrinath and 6,000 in Ghaghria.
The rains in June have broken an 88-year record. The worst-hit areas include Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi, where Mandakini river is in spate. In Rambada, the river water entered the market area. With more thunder showers predicted, the grave situation may worsen with more landslides as the hillsides have weakened after incessant rains.
the national capital Delhi has also seen heavy rains over the weekend and intermittent showers continue even now. The city has received 58.5 mm rainfall, leaving roads flooded and traffic jams in the morning rush hour.
In Haryana, rescue teams have successfully evacuated 52 villagers from a riverine island in Yamunanagar. The Yamuna river, which enters Haryana from Uttarakhand at Hathnikund barrage, has swelled after over 800,000 cusecs of water was released through the Hathnikund barrage. With the water expected to reach Delhi today, the city government has begun evacuating people from low-lying areas along the banks of the Yamuna.
The monsoon this year has advanced much faster than usual and has also arrived much eralier than predicted, covering the southern, eastern and central states within two weeks.