Early monsoon wreaks havoc in North India; 60 perish

Published: 18th June 2013 07:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2013 07:35 AM   |  A+A-

Landslides--1

Monsoon woes gripped several parts of north India on Monday as heavy rains wreaked havoc in the hill states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, leaving over 60 people dead and hundreds stranded, while several parts in Haryana were flooded after water level of Yamuna rose alarmingly.

Flash floods in the Ganga and its tributaries triggered by incessant rains for over 48 hours left a trail of death and devastation across Uttarakhand killing 30 people and damaging 164 buildings. Five vehicles, including a chopper, were swept away in the heavy showers which were still continuing. At least 15 people were killed in different incidents in Uttar Pradesh.

In Himachal Pradesh, a high alert was sounded and Army assistance was sought for rescue operations in the tribal border district of Kinnaur as incessant rains and snow wreaked havoc taking at least 10  lives. Over 700 people, including Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was campaigning in the area for Mandi Lok Sabha bypoll slated for June 23, were stranded in the Sangla valley. About 25 foreigners and a Doordarshan team were also stranded in Kinnaur district.

In Uttarakhand, Rudraprayag bore the brunt of the disaster with a maximum of 20 people killed there. A large number of structures, including shrines, hotels, rest houses, commercial and residential buildings located close to Alaknanda river caved in like a pack of cards in Rudraparayag district. Char dam yatra and Mansarovar yatra through Uttarakhand have been suspended.

Arriving almost a fortnight in advance than its usual date, the southwest monsoon brought heavy rains in several parts of Haryana, particularly Yamunanagar district, where normal life was paralysed. Fifty-two people were rescued by the Army and NDRF as several parts were flooded after Yamuna river’s level rose alarmingly, prompting the authorities to sound an alert.

Heavy showers in the national capital for the second consecutive day caused water-logging and traffic chaos in various parts. ENS/Agencies

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