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Rejoicing in rain as monsoon hits northeast

Dozens of people danced in the rain in Guwahati after the monsoon hit the region, bringing welcome relief to the northeastern state reeling under scorching temperatures for more than a week.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2003 10:19 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

Dozens of people danced in the rain in Guwahati after the monsoon hit the region, bringing welcome relief to the northeastern states reeling under scorching temperatures for more than a week.

It was business as usual as people who had been cooped indoors for days came out of their homes after the showers brought temperatures down to 27 degrees Celsius (80 Fahrenheit) from 36 Celsius (96 Fahrenheit) a few days ago.

Street corners were packed with people sipping coconut water to quench their thirst as humidity levels in the region were still high.

"Business is normal after the rains. Now people have started coming to markets and we are selling our items," Mahesh Jain, a shopkeeper selling garments, told Reuters.

Indians had been scanning the skies for weeks for any signs of the monsoon as a severe heat wave gripped the country and temperatures topped 49 degrees Celsius (120.20 Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country.

The hot spell has killed more than 1,200 people across the country on the past three weeks. Most of the victims were rickshaw pullers, street hawkers and the homeless in Andhra Pradesh.

"Invariably, every child below five years in the region suffered from high temperature because they are not accustomed to such a heat wave. Now, the rains will make them feel better," said Dr. Bandana Barua, a paediatrician in Guwahati.

Weather officials in Assam said the mercury could drop further and the sky would remain cloudy for the next few days.

"Rainfall will now occur all over the northeast in the next 24 hours as the monsoon has spread across all the seven states by now," D. Sinha, director of the Guwahati Meteorological Centre, told Reuters on Friday.

Guwahati received six mm of rain on Thursday while Dholai in the southern part of the region recorded 149 mm of rain.

First Published: Jun 07, 2003 10:19 IST