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Rains cause landslides, floods in many states; claim 57 lives

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Heavy rainfall triggered landslides in and Himachal Pradesh, where at least 46 people were killed, and caused floods in eastern and northeastern states, with 10 deaths being reported in today.

In Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district, a girl was killed and her parents were missing following a landslide yesterday that buried their house.

A massive landslide, triggered by a cloudburst, in last night, buried two state roadways buses, killing at least 46 people and injuring several others at Kotpuri near Padhar on the Mandi-Pathankot national highway.

According to officials, the toll may cross 50.

The highway have been closed stranding hundreds of vehicles, they said, adding the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army and the police were rushed to the spot.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who visited the site, said the rescue operation would continue till all bodies were recovered.

State Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur announced financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased while Transport minister G S Bali said announced that Rs 1 lakh would be given to each bereaved family by the HRTC.

In eastern and northeastern states, rains caused havoc, triggering floods in and parts of Bihar and West Bengal.

Ten more people died as the flood situation deteriorated in Assam, where 22.5 lakh people were affected in 21 districts and the Army has been called for rescue operations.

With today's deaths in the second wave of deluge in the state, the toll in this year's flood-related incidents has gone up to 99, State Disaster Management Authority said, adding the situation is likely to worsen as waters of the Brahmaputra and 10 other rivers were flowing above the danger mark at 15 places.

Most of the forest areas in Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Lawkhua wildlife sanctuary were under flood waters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called up Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who toured various flood-affected areas in Dibrugarh district, an official release said.

The prime minister expressed concern and assured all possible help and support to the state government in handling the situation, it said.

Nagaon Deputy Commissioner Shamsher Singh said the waters of the Brahmaputra river breached a crucial dyke at Hatimura inundating vast areas of the district.

Dhubri was the worst-affected with 3.98 lakh people affected, followed by Morigaon with 3.14 lakh people.

Chief Public Relations Officer of Northeast Frontier Railway Pranav Jyoti Sharma said 22 trains have been cancelled while 14 others were stranded at various places as the tracks are flooded at places across the northeast.

Incessant rains in the past three days in Terai regions of Nepal coupled with heavy rainfall since yesterday in Seemanchal area have caused floods in Kishanganj, Purnea, Araria and Katihar districts of Bihar.

Union Home Minister spoke to Bihar and discussed the flood situation in the state where nearly 320 NDRF personnel have been rushed.

"The Centre is rushing additional NDRF teams to Bihar to help the ongoing rescue and relief operations in the flood- affected region of the state," Singh said in a tweet.

Kishanganj district is the worst affected, said, adding that he has spoken to the prime minister, the union home minister and the defence minister over phone and requested them to help the state in dealing with the situation.

A home ministry official said seven teams of the NDRF have already reached the affected areas in the state.

Birpur in Supaul district received 45 cm rainfall, followed by Gaunaha and Bagaha in West Champaran 37 cm each and Bahadurganj in Kishanganj district 36 cm of precipitation.

Sub-Himalayan districts of West Bengal also received heavy rains causing floods-like situation in the region.

Due to the flood situation in Northeast Frontier Railway jurisdiction, many north Bengal-bound trains originating from Sealdah and Howrah that were delayed, have been terminated at various stations, the Eastern Railway said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the national capital witnessed partly clear skies with no rains, though overcast conditions prevailed in some areas.

The maximum and minimum temperatures were 34.9 degrees Celsius and 27.3 degrees Celsius respectively while relative humidity levels oscillated between 57 and 79 per cent.

Humid conditions prevailed in most parts of Punjab and Haryana with maximum temperatures hovering around normal at most places in both the states.

Chandigarh, the joint capital of the two states, recorded a maximum temperature of 34.4 degrees Celsius while Ambala in Haryana registered a high of 34.6 degrees Celsius and Hisar's maximum was 37.2 degrees Celsius.

In Punjab, Amritsar and Ludhiana both recorded maximum temperatures of 35.8 degrees Celsius.

Rainfall occurred in parts of Chhattisgarh, and Vidarbha but there was no significant change in maximum and minimum temperatures.

Yavatmal in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region recorded a maximum temperature of 34 degrees Celsius.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, August 13 2017. 21:48 IST