Many dead as monsoon fury wreaks havoc across India
At least 12 people have died in the past two days as heavy rain choked several parts of north India. The weather office has predicted more showers over the next couple of days.
The Indian Metrological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to extremely heavy rain for Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
The IMD said a western disturbance prevailed over northern India, leading to an intense spell of rain, including Delhi which experienced the season's first heavy rain. Waterlogging led to traffic jams in several parts of the national capital.
The city recorded 153mm of rainfall in 24 hours, highest in single day in July since 1982. Heavy rain continued in Delhi and its adjoining areas as well. Several parts of Gurugram also experienced waterlogging and power outages.
A 58-year-old woman was killed in Delhi when the ceiling of her flat came crashing down on her. Four people were killed in rain-related incidents in Rajasthan.
A woman and her six-year-old daughter were killed in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar early on Sunday after their house collapsed due to heavy rain. Three of a family were killed in Himachal Pradesh's Shimla in a similar incident.
In Jammu and Kashmir, two soldiers were drowned in the Poonch district on Saturday. The IMD has predicted very heavy rainfall in more than nine districts of Rajasthan, including, Rajsamand, Jalore, Pali, Ajmer, Alwar, Banswara, Bharatpur, Bhilwara, Bundi, Chittorgarh, Dausa, Dhaulpur, Jaipur and Kota.
The annual Amarnath Yatra has been suspended for the third consecutive day following incessant rains and landslides.
About 3,000 vehicles are stranded along the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, where a portion of the road had caved in on Saturday. Down south, Incessant rains pounded many areas of Kerala and Karnataka as well. The IMD has issued a "yellow" alert in four districts of Kerala - Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod.
The weather office has issued a "red" alert for seven Himachal Pradesh districts after landslides and flash floods blocked several roads in Shimla, Sirmaur, Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba and Solan.
A portion of the national highway in Kullu district washed away as the Beas river breached the danger mark. Heavy rain lashed several parts of Haryana and Punjab also as the mercury dropped below normal limits in the two states, the weather office said. Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, witnessed rain throughout the day.
The IMD uses four colour codes to indicate weather warnings - green (no action required), yellow (stay alert and informed), orange (be prepared), and red (take immediate action).
The Met Office has forecast a generally cloudy sky with moderate to heavy rainfall for Sunday and the expected range for the maximum and minimum temperatures is around 30˚C and 24˚C, respectively.
The heavy downpour on Saturday resulted in submerged roads, overflowing drains, and extensive water-logging, bringing traffic to a standstill for hours. Motorists and pedestrians faced tremendous difficulties navigating through waterlogged roads, flyovers, and sidewalks, while traders struggled to prevent rainwater from seeping into their shops across several areas.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday dismissed the weekly off of all government officials and instructed them to be on the ground and inspect their respective rain-hit areas.
"Yesterday, Delhi received 126mm of rainfall. Only 15 per cent of the total monsoon rainfall occurred within a span of 12 hours. People faced significant problems due to waterlogging. "Today, all the ministers and the mayor of Delhi will inspect the problem areas. They have instructed officials from all departments to cancel their Sunday holiday and be present on the ground for inspection," Kejriwal tweeted.