About 1,500 villages have been inundated following flash floods triggered by heavy rains in Uttar Pradesh over the past three days while swelling rivers and landslides have destroyed vast swathes of farmland and homes in parts of northern and eastern India.
An Uttar Pradesh government official said on Monday that the flooding had killed 41 people so far as National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel rescued thousands of people marooned across the most populous state.
“A round-the-clock vigil is being maintained. Although the army has not been called in, it has been informed that help may be required,” said state chief secretary Alok Ranjan.
Fears of more flooding grew as the fury of the Ghaghra, Rapti and Sharda rivers intensified after neighbouring Nepal released water from its overflowing dams.
UP and neighbouring Uttarakhand are expected to receive more showers in the next 24 hours which could worsen the already grim situation.
Heavy rains have claimed at least 24 lives in Uttarakhand since Friday, reviving memories of a deluge last year that killed more than 5,000 people.
The ancestral village of ex-chief minister Nitish Kumar in Bihar is in the grip of floods that have hit 600,000 people in 13 districts, officials said.
Hundreds of boats have been pressed into service for relief and rescue operations, said Anirudh Kumar, special secretary in the state’s disaster management department. About 38,000 people have been evacuated so far and 80 relief camps have been set up in the deluge-hit districts.
“In view of the incessant rains in the catchment areas of the Gandak and the Kosi and high discharge in the rivers, the situation may further deteriorate,” said state water resources minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary.
The first wave of raging floods in the Brahmaputra and its tributaries along central and upper Assam has killed at least four people and either displaced or trapped about 400,000 people in 14 districts, submerging vast tracts of close to 800 villages.
Nearly 70% of the Kaziranga National Park, home of the famed one-horned rhino, has been seized by the Brahmaputra.
UP floods: Over 1500 villages inundated, incessant rains continue