A nearly submerged temple at the bank of Ganga River, following heavy rains, in Varanasi, August 10, 2021. Photo: PTI
New Delhi: Over five lakh people in 1,243 villages of Uttar Pradesh have been affected by floods, officials said on Wednesday after the state recorded an average of 13.1 mm rainfall in a 24-hour period which is 154 per cent more than normal.
The conditions were, however, hot and humid in neighbouring Delhi and Punjab and Haryana, while in Uttarakhand, two people have died in rain-related incidents amid an incessant downpour in various parts of the state.
A skewed rainfall distribution has caused concerns in Rajasthan, a state where some parts have received excessive rainfall while others saw below-average showers.
In the national capital, the minimum and the maximum temperatures were recorded at 26.4 degrees Celsius and 36.2 degrees Celsius respectively.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), sultry conditions are likely to continue in the city with no rainfall expected for another five to six days.
A weather department official said the monsoon has entered a “break phase” and rainfall will remain subdued in northwest India at least till August 16.
In Uttar Pradesh, 11 districts Prayagraj, Chitrakoot, Kaushambi, Pratapgarh, Basti, Gonda, Sultanpur, Shrawasti, Lucknow, Raebareli and Fatehpur received 25 mm or more rainfall in a span of 24 hours.
A report from the Relief Commissioner’s office said a “population of 5,46,049 in 1,243 villages in 23 districts is affected by floods”.
According to reports by the irrigation department, the river Ganga is flowing above the danger mark in Budaun, Prayagraj, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Ghazipur and Ballia, while the Yamuna river is flowing above the red mark in Auraiya, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Banda and Prayagraj.
Similarly, river Betwa is above the danger mark in Hamirpur, Sharda river in Pallia Kalan (Kheri) and the Quano river in Chandradeep ghat (Gonda), it said.
In Uttarakhand, a woman died and five people were injured when a house collapsed in Almora district on Wednesday amid incessant rainfall, while a man drowned in the swollen Shakti canal in Dehradun.
Continuous rainfall has triggered landslides at a number of places, blocking traffic movement, officials said. Three highways and around 100 motor roads in various parts of the state are blocked by landslide debris, the state disaster management centre here said.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, meanwhile, expressed concerns over the skewed rainfall distribution in the state.
According to water resources department data, 10 of the state’s 33 districts are under the deficit rainfall category, while nine are under the ‘normal rainfall’ category and as many are under the ‘excessive rains’ category.
Five districts have recorded abnormal rains and there is no district under the scant rainfall category, the data shows.
“Excessive rainfall in several parts of the state and below-average in some is a matter of concern. Instructions have been issued to the administration for special girdawari (inspection) in different districts so that timely assistance can be provided to the affected,” Gehlot tweeted.
He said parts of the state receive rain in August also which may cover the deficit. “The same is expected from the forecasts of the Meteorological Department this time, he added.
From June 1 to August 12, the state as a whole recorded normal rainfall with 8.3% more than the average, according to a report by the water resources department.
Kota division, comprising Kota, Bundi, Baran and Jhalawar districts, has received abnormal rains with 87.2% more than the average rains. Many areas in the division faced flood-like situation due to excessive rains which damaged property and crops.
A six-member inter-ministerial panel reached Kota on Wednesday evening and visited flood-affected areas on Thursday morning to assess crop and property damage.
According to Kota district collector Ujjawal Rathore, at least 508 villages were adversely affected by the recent heavy rainfall in Kota district.
Bharatpur division received abnormal rains while normal precipitation was observed in Ajmer, Bikaner, Jaipur and Udaipur divisions. Jodhpur division recorded deficit rains.
Districts with deficit rains (-20% to -59% of the long period average) are; Banswara, Barmer, Dungarpur, Ganganagar, Jalore, Jodhpur, Pali, Rajsamand, Sirohi and Udaipur.
Ajmer, Alwar, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Chittorgarh, Hanumangarh, Jhunjhunu, Nagaur and Sikar recorded normal rains (19 to -19%).
Bharatpur, Churu, Dausa, Dholpur, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Karauli, Pratapgarh and Tonk are under the excess rainfall category (20% to 59%), whereas Baran, Bundi, Jhalawar, Kota and Sawaimadhopur recorded abnormal rains (60% or more).
In Punjab and Haryana, hot and humid weather conditions prevailed at most places, with common capital Chandigarh recording a maximum temperature of 35.6 degrees Celsius.
According to the Chandigarh weather office, Ambala in Haryana recorded a maximum temperature of 35.7 degrees Celsius, while Hisar registered a high of 37 degrees Celsius.
Rohtak recorded a maximum temperature of 35.8 degrees Celsius, Bhiwani 37.8 degrees Celsius and Gurgaon 35.8 degrees Celsius.
In Punjab, Amritsar recorded a maximum of 36 degrees Celsius, Ludhiana 35.2 degrees Celsius, Patiala 36.1 degrees Celsius and Bathinda 35.5 degrees Celsius.