THE MONSOON finally hit north India today, ending a long spell of stifling heat but bringing some misery as torrential rain in Uttar Pradesh left at least 22 people dead in incidents of house collapse and electrocution.
The water level of several major rivers in the region like the Ganga and Yamuna started rising due to heavy rain in the catchment areas though it was below the danger mark as yet. The Ganga river was rising all along its course from Hardwar to Ballia while Ramganga and Yamuna were rising in Moradabad and Etawah respectively. However, Jammu and Kashmir continued to reel under the heat wave leading to a 10-day extension of the annual summer vacations in schools.
The south-west monsoon arrived in the national capital more than 10 days behind the June 29 date with a steady flow of moderate rain since the morning. It hit the shores of Kerala a week ahead of schedule on May 24. The city recorded 9.9 mm of rainfall between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm and the minimum temperature had dropped to 27 degrees Celsius, Met officials said adding that the S-W monsoon had “advanced to Delhi”.
Heavy rains aided by strong winds lashed wide swathes of UP since yesterday leaving 22 people dead and raising the toll to 86 this season. Seven persons, including four children, were killed when the roof of their house collapsed in Lakhimpur Kheri, eight people died in Hardoi, three in Lucknow, two in Gorakhpur and two in Sitapur and Kaushambi districts, reports said. Temperatures, meanwhile, dipped sharply and people got a respite from the sultry weather as rain has been lashing several parts of the state since yesterday.
Jaunpur received the maximum 346.8 mm of rainfall while Fatehgarh got 205 mm and Mirzapur 220 mm of rain, the meteorological department said. Lucknow also received heavy rains since last evening resulting in water-logging in many low-lying areas.
Heavy rains lashed Varanasi and adjoining areas bringing cheers to the farmers even as several urban localities were flooded with rain water disrupting normal life. A total rainfall of over 150 mm was recorded since Saturday which was sufficient for the parched paddy fields where the sowing of the crop would begin now, sources said. The met department said monsoon showers were likely to persist in the region for the next couple of days.