Monsoon refuses to relent, over 100 dead in UP, Bihar
At least 134 people have died in rain-related incidents across the country in the past three days, with Uttar Pradesh reporting the maximum cases and Bihar capital Patna reeling under knee-deep water on Sunday due to the sudden spurt in late monsoon rainfall.
In UP and Bihar, 127 people died due to heavy rainfall in the last 72 hours, according to data from the state disaster relief departments. Twenty-two interstate trains have been cancelled in as many days due to rain, an Indian Railways spokesperson said.
The latest spell of rainfall is due to extended low pressure areas creating monsoon trough in different parts of the country, which would result in more showers in the next five days, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
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IMD director general M Mohapatra on Sunday said monsoon will retreat later than normal this year: from the second week of October. This is the first time since 1960 — the year IMD began keeping records — that the monsoon will remain active till mid-October. The monsoon season normally begins on June 1 and ends on September 30.
In Uttar Pradesh, relief officials said 20 people were killed in various rain-related incidents across the state in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 93 for the last three days.
According to the state’s Flood Management and Information System Centre (FMICS), the Ganga was flowing above the danger level in Ghazipur and Ballia districts while Kuano river was flowing above the danger mark in Gonda district.
UP relief commissioner GS Priyadarshi said a flood warning has been issued in 28 districts.
In Bihar, 23 deaths were reported from the worst-affected Patna, Bhagalpur and Kaimur districts in the last 24 hours. Several areas in the state capital were inundated on Sunday, with the city receiving 152mm of rain the night before. Government hospitals and buildings — including the city’s second largest medical facility, the Nalanda Medical College Hospital — were waterlogged.
The state disaster response force was deployed for rescue efforts and installed additional pumps across the city to flush out water, officials said.
Bihar’s principal secretary disaster management Pratyay Amrit said 15 districts where more rain is expected in the next 24 hours have been put on alert and all schools have been closed till Tuesday.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday held a meeting with district collectors to review the situation and directed them to provide all possible relief, said state water resources minister Sanjay Kumar Jha. “We are making all possible efforts. I would appeal to the people of the state to have patience and courage,” the CM told reporters in Patna.
The weather department has predicted heavy rain in Patna till September 30 even as the water level in Ganga receded following additional release of water from the Farakka barrage.
Three women drowned after their car was swept away at a flooded causeway in Gujarat’s Rajkot district on Sunday following heavy rain in several parts of the state’s Saurashtra region, officials said. Besides, four fishermen were feared drowned after their boat capsized off the coast near Gir Somnath district on Saturday evening, they added.
On Saturday, around 4,000 pilgrims at Uttarakhand’s Badrinath shrine were stranded for close to 20 hours due landslides triggered by heavy rainfall. Officials of the state’s Emergency Operations Centre said the blockade was removed on Sunday around 11am and pilgrims were allowed to leave the shrine in batches.
IMD on Sunday forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy showers in various parts of Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh, southern Gujarat and the Himalayan region.
The IMD’s Sunday bulletin said, “As per the dynamical model guidance, the forecast flow pattern does not indicate the establishment of an anticyclone in the lower tropospheric levels over northwestern parts of India (which is an indication of beginning of withdrawal of monsoon) up to October 6. From October 7, models indicate a development of a weak anticyclone over the region.”
“We cannot announce monsoon withdrawal unless it stops raining in northwest India. It is still raining in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Anti-cyclone hasn’t established,” said Mohapatra.