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Floods across several states as rain fury continues

LiveMint logoLiveMint 24-07-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Flood waters swept across several places in the country on Monday, killing two in Rajasthan and forcing Gujarat to declare a high alert.

In an upside, the situation in flood-ravaged Assam improved considerably as the swollen Brahmaputra and Barak rivers, along with their tributaries, started flowing below the danger mark at most places. In West Bengal, lowlands in Birbhum, Purulia, West Midnapore and Hooghly districts were inundated.

With the meteorological department predicting more rains in the Gangetic region of the state in the next 24 hours, chief minister Mamata Banerjee held a monitoring meeting with senior officials at the secretariat in the afternoon. Rains lashed state capital Kolkata through the night, inundating thoroughfares and choking traffic.

In the neighbouring coastal state of Odisha, extremely heavy rains and thundershowers, along with high-speed surface winds, are expected on Tuesday due to the formation of a low pressure area over the region. The Odisha government has dispatched one Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) team each to the northern Keonjhar and Bhadrak districts, as the threat of floods loomed large due to the rising water level in major rivers.

The levels of the Baitarani, Subarnarekha and Budhabalang rivers have been rising steadily following heavy rainfall in most parts of the state over the last couple of days. The state government has already sounded an alert about possible floods in six districts after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast extremely heavy rainfall in the northern region of the state. The districts are Keonjhar, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh.

In Gujarat, 1,526 people in Banaskantha district, about 500 in Patan district, and over 200 at Kalol in Gandhinagar district have been shifted after floods to safer places. Chief minister Vijay Rupani said the large inflow of water into rivers and dams in Banaskantha and Patan were caused by heavy rains in neighbouring Rajasthan.

The desert state saw heavy rains in Jalore, Pali and Sirohi districts which caused inundation, leaving several people marooned. A woman and her daughter, meanwhile, died after being swept away while crossing a bridge over a swollen canal in Udaipur. The army and Indian Air Force choppers have been pressed into rescue operations in the state. The road and rail network has also been affected in the region.

Uttar Pradesh too experienced rainfall over several places. Temple town Varanasi recorded nearly 100mm of rain. Rainfall was also received in the national capital as well as the hills of Himachal Pradesh.

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