Monsoon fury: At least 50 dead in rain-related incidents in Himachal, other states in three days
Five people who went missing after heavy rains triggered flash floods and landslides in Himachal Pradesh remained untraceable on Sunday, a senior official said.
At least 50 people have died in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Odisha over the last three days in flash floods and landslides triggered by intense monsoon rains, according to news agency Reuters.
22 people were killed and 12 injured in rain-related incidents in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday.
The maximum damage was reported from Mandi, Kangra, and Chamba districts.
Five people who went missing after heavy rains triggered flash floods and landslides in Himachal Pradesh remained untraceable on Sunday, State Disaster Management Department director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta told PTI.
The five who went missing after a flash flood in Baghi nullah on the Mandi-Katola-Prashar road in Mandi are still untraceable, he added.
Several families fled their homes located between Baghi and Old Katola after a cloudburst in the area on Saturday and took shelter at safer places.
Mokhta said the Shimla-Chandigarh highway, which was blocked on Saturday evening following a landslide at Sonu Bangla between Shoghi and Tara Devi, has been cleared for vehicular movement.
However, several roads, especially in Mandi, are still closed for traffic and work is on clear them, he added.
Principal secretary, Revenue, Onkar Sharma said Rs 232.31 crore has been released from the State Disaster Response Fund to the affected districts.
Two major rivers in Odisha breach danger mark
In the state of Odisha, authorities in Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts have launched a massive evacuation drive in low-lying areas, officials said Sunday, as water in Subarnarekha and Baitarani the two major rivers flowing through the region breached the danger mark at many places.
As many as 58 rescue teams comprising personnel of the NDRF, ODRAF and Fire Service were deployed in Balasore and Mayurbahnj districts, Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep K Jena said, adding similar arrangements were also being made in adjoining districts of Bhadrak and Jajpur.
The water level in all the rivers located in north Odisha are in spate due to heavy rains caused by a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal, and subsequent flood water release from Jharkhand.
According to Jena, nearly 6 lakh cusecs of water were discharged by Jharkhand from Galudih barrage on the Subarnarekha river system, following a heavy downpour.
Most rivers flowing through the northern region of Odisha into the Bay of Bengal originate in neighbouring Jharkhand.
Four blocks in coastal Balasore district Baliapal, Bhograi, Basta and Jaleswar were identified as most vulnerable to the latest flooding.
On Sunday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik delegated powers of a special relief commissioner to the collector of Balasore district so that the local administration could be more effective.
A helicopter was also placed at his disposal to deal with any emergency.
Odisha is already reeling under the impact of moderate floods in the Mahanadi river system following incessant rainfall, which has affected above 7 lakh people.
Nearly 5 lakh are still marooned in 763 villages, according to government estimates.
Rains and flood-related incidents have so far claimed six lives.
Two bodies were recovered in Kuchinda area of Sambalpur district on Saturday, while four people, including two minor girls, were killed in a wall collapse on Friday night.
Jharkhand hit by torrential rains
Meanwhile, in Jharkhand, three persons lost their lives amid heavy rain and strong winds that lashed several districts of the state, inundating low-lying areas and uprooting trees and electricity poles, officials said.
A woman died when a mud wall of her house collapsed in West Singhbhum district, as a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal brought torrential rainfall in various parts of the state on Saturday, they said.
Two persons drowned in Ramgarh district and two more went missing when their vehicles fell into the swollen Nalkari river, and were swept away by the strong current, the officials said.
Flood-like situation on Vaishno Devi yatra track
In Jammu, the yatra to the Vaishno Devi shrine atop Trikuta hills in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir was temporarily suspended on Friday evening following heavy rain, officials said.
Chief Executive Officer of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Anshul Garg said the situation was under control and there was no report of any casualty or damage.
Several videos shared on social media show flood-like situation on the Vaishno Devi track.
An official said heavy rains lashed Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting the revered shrine, for several hours in the evening, prompting the authorities to suspend the yatra as a precautionary measure till 5 am on Saturday.
(With inputs from PTI)