New Delhi: Heavy rains claimed six lives and continued to wreak havoc in Bihar and several parts of north India. After Punjab and Haryana, now Uttar Pradesh is experiencing a flood-like crisis.
National Highway 119 is submerged under over two feet of water, bringing traffic to a halt on the road that connects Bijnor to Delhi and Meerut. This was brought on by incessant rains on Friday that caused many rivers to breach their banks, including the Malan river which changed its course and has flooded the highway. Rescue operations are underway.
"We are destroying our houses because the river is cutting in close, up to around half a kilometre. We are taking our belongings and children and moving from here," said Ram Prasad, a flood victim.
Similar scenes in West Bengal's North Dinajpur district. Floodwaters have ruined hundreds of homes. Acres of agricultural land have also been destroyed. Officials say food and relief material are being distributed among families who've been badly affected and have promised financial assistance to those below the poverty line and beneficiaries of the Indira Awaas Yojana.
Incessant rains for the past 24 hours have triggered fears in Veraval in Gujarat too. Floods are all but imminent in the area after the lock gates of a nearby dam were opened as the water level crossed the danger mark. Some streets are already under water, slowing down vehicular traffic.
Torrential rains continued to lash Uttar Pradesh where three more people lost their lives in rain-related incidents, taking the death toll this season to 57.
Many parts of Rajasthan too witnessed heavy rains as rail and road traffic were affected in Barmer district, drenched by 7.5 cms of showers since Friday night. The weekly Thar Express, running between India and Pakistan, was postponed while two local trains were cancelled.
The monsoon became active particularly over north-west region with Bikaner, Churu, Phalodi, Jodhpur, Mount Abu, Jaislamer and Jaipur receiving moderate to heavy rainfall.
Meanwhile, overcast conditions prevailed in the national capital, where mercury rose slightly. The maximum stood at 34.6 deg C against 33.5 deg C while the minimum settled at 27.6 deg C against 26 degrees the previous day. The city, which received trace rainfall, recorded humidity levels ranging between 61 and 86 per cent.
However, weather conditions in Jammu and Kashmir, lashed by heavy rains in the past two days, have improved. Authorities allowed thousands of pilgrims stranded enroute to holy Amarnath cave shrine to proceed to Lord Shive temple.
Elsewhere in the country, the southwest monsoon was vigorous in Bihar, where three children drowned in flash floods, besides Gujarat, Orissa, Haryana, Konkan, Goa and Central Maharashtra. It has been subdued over Tamil Nadu.
(With inputs from Agencies)