Heavy rains continue in North India, Uttarakhand worst hit; flood warning in UP, Delhi

New Delhi, June 18 (ANI): Rains continued to lash most parts of North India on Tuesday, affecting normal life in the region.

The state of Uttarakhand continues to reel from the after effects of heavy monsoon showers and swirling and uncontrollable flood waters. Most rivers in the state are in spate, even as the flood victim death toll has reached over 50.

Local reports informed that thousands were stranded after landslides.

Houses and buildings have collapsed, furniture is being removed from homes and roads have caved in in some parts of the state.

Parts of the Rishikesh-Mana Highway near Joshimath district were reported to be in a damaged state.

The Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers are still overflowing, and a bridge over the latter that allows movement towards the Kedarnath Valley is damaged.

The Asiganga River is also in spate. On Monday, the River Mandakani cut bases of houses located on its banks in Rudrapryag.

The situation is expected to worsen in the hill state while flood warnings have been issued in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

The grim situation in Uttarakhand has led to the suspension of the annual Kailash Mansarovar yatra.

Rescue operations are being carried out in the hill state by the army, para-military Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and disaster management authority.

Hundreds of pilgrims enroute to the Char Dham Yatra - Badrinath, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Yamunotri- continued to be trapped between landslides and gushing waters of several rivers which are in spate.

Officials informed that more than 5,000 people were stranded in Uttarkashi, 1,000 in Joshimath, 10,000 in Govindghat, more than 10,000 in Badrinath and 6,000 in Ghaghria.

The state government has asked officials to barricade the route before Rishikesh and ask pilgrims and tourists to go back.

The rains have lashed the northern belt of the country for the past four days. The Met department said the rains in the month of June have since broken an 88-year record.

All the deaths in Uttar Pradesh were in Saharanpur, where many pilgrims are trapped in the Shakumbhari Devi area following the rain and floods.

Flooding has been reported from Saharanpur, Bijnore, Muzaffarnagar, Gorakhpur, Siddharthanagar, Azamgarh, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ballia and Varanasi.

Delhi saw heavy rains over the weekend and intermittent showers continued Monday morning. The city received 58.5 mm of rain from 8.30 p.m. Sunday to 8.30 a.m. Monday.

In Haryana, rescue teams Monday evacuated 52 villagers, including 15 children, from a riverine island in Yamunanagar district while rescue operations were on in Karnal district where nearly 200 people were stranded in Shergarh Tapu and Chandrao villages.

The Yamuna river, which enters Haryana from Uttarakhand at Hathnikund barrage in Yamunanagar district, had swelled since early Saturday after over 800,000 cusecs of water was released Monday morning through the Hathnikund barrage.

With the water expected to reach Delhi Tuesday, the city government Monday began evacuating people from low-lying areas along the banks of the Yamuna.

The monsoon this year had set over Kerala on schedule June 1 and advanced fast, covering the southern, eastern and central states within two weeks.

The Director-General of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Sandeep Rathore, said districts like Rudraprayag and Kedarnath have been greatly affected.

"We are still trying to locate a lot of missing people," he said. (ANI)

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