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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

UP floods: Rapti water level at new high; 28 killed

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  Lucknow/Patna/Dehradun/New Delhi, August 17, 2014
First Published: 17:00 IST(17/8/2014) | Last Updated: 09:09 IST(18/8/2014)

Overflowing rivers have submerged around 1,500 villages in Uttar Pradesh, leaving 28 people dead and around 17,000 homeless so far, as the flood situation turned critical in the state on Sunday.

Incessant rainfall in Nepal and a sudden rise in the water level of the Ghaghra, Sharda and Rapti also marooned over 6 lakh hectare of crop land.

Breaking all records, the water level in the Rapti river in Balrampur district in Uttar Pradesh has touched 105.47 metres, which is 0.85 metres above the danger mark, as the Centre issued an "unprecedented flood situation" warning for the state.

The highest level of water recorded previously in the Rapti was on September 11, 2000, when the river had risen to a height of 105.25m, the ministry of water resources said in a statement in New Delhi.

In Uttar Pradesh, four teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and two helicopters were placed at the disposal of the state government.

Heavy rains have thrown life out of gear in Uttarakhand for the past 48 hours. Several highways have been blocked due to landslides and the death toll in the state stands at 26.

A 17-year-old girl was swept away in a local seasonal river at Sahashtradhara — a tourist spot in Dehradun — on Sunday afternoon. Local rescue teams, including divers, tried to find the victim’s body, said police in Dehradun.

Torrential showers have wreaked havoc in Himachal Pradesh too, with several dead and around 500 roads damaged.

The Centre is on the alert and home minister Rajnath Singh flew to Dehradun on Sunday to review disaster-response preparedness.

The home minister Rajnath Singh said, “We have decided to help all states combat natural calamity. Orders have been issued to rush National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to all states where situation is alarming.”

Since Friday, 13 people have been killed in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district in separate incidents. Meanwhile, 363 people who were stranded in Pauri district for the past two days were rescued on Saturday and Sunday.

Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat has announced a package of Rs. 2.5 crore for infrastructure development in the affected district.

In Bihar, the state government launched efforts to rescue nearly four lakh people hit by floods, which have also claimed two lives. Around 38,000 people have been evacuated so far and 75 relief camps set up in the nine affected districts, sources said.

An aerial view of flood affected of Nalanda district of Bihar. (PTI Photo)

As many as 12 teams of NDRF have been deployed in Bihar for rescue and relief operations in flood affected areas of the state.

Army troops were in place to offer help to the local administrations in their rescue and relief works in Bihar, a home ministry official said on Sunday night.

Three helicopters were also kept on standby to help rescue the marooned people in Bihar, where nine districts have been hit by flood.

The flood situation is also grim in Assam with the Brahmaputra and its tributaries flowing above the danger mark in several districts, following heavy rainfall. The Kaziranga National Park is heavily flooded, forcing animals to move to highlands.

(With inputs from agencies)


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