31 killed as monsoon fury grips north, eastern India

Himachal Pradesh alone accounts for 22 of the 31 deaths

Traffic stalled on a highway in Himachal Pradesh due to landslides. Photo: ANI/Twitter

As many as 31 people have been killed in floods, landslides, cloudburst and house collapses as monsoon fury swept through the states of Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.

22 dead in Himachal

While Himachal Pradesh reported 22 deaths, Odisha and Jharkhand have logged four deaths each while one has been recorded in Jharkhand.

At least 22 people including eight from a single family have been killed in landslides and flash floods among 36 weather-related incidents in Himachal Pradesh.

Reports said at least 10 have been injured in these incidents while several others are feared dead or missing.

While the hilly state has been witnessing incessant rains since Friday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasts moderate to heavy rains for the next five days.

An orange alert has been issued for the entire state for the next 12 hours, while a yellow alert has been issued for the days till August 24.

In view of the forecast of heavy rains, the state disaster management authority has issued a warning for landslides in the state till August 25.

Reports said as many as 743 roads including the Manali-Chandigarh national highway at Mandu and the Shimla-Chandigarh highway at Shoghi have been blocked in view of the rains.

Of the 22 deaths, 13 have been reported from Mandi alone, where six people have went missing in incidents of landslides and floods.

The heavy rains led to the collapse of the Chakki bridge in Kangra on Saturday, stalling train services between Pathankot and Jogindernagar.

Odisha districts on alert as Jharkhand releases water

Odisha which is already suffering from the impact of floods, received a fresh spell of rains in the last 24 hours, which increased the burden of the flood-affected regions of Mayurbhanj and Kendrapara districts and disrupted communication.

With Jharkhand releasing its flood waters to an already inflated river Subarnarekha from the Galudih barrage (4.5 lakh cusec water through 16 gates) on Saturday, high alert was issued in Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts in anticipation of a major flood.

Besides Mahanadi, the government is also keeping a close watch on the rising river water in Budhabalanga, Baitarani and Salandi.

With over 4.5 lakh people cut off from the mainland by floodwaters in across 500 villages of the state, teams of NDRF, ODRAF and fire service personnel are already on the standby in Mayurbhanj, Kendrapara and Balasore districts.

On Saturday, 70 people were rescued after a boat they were travelling in was swept away by the strong currents on river Mahanadi, which is in spate.

With 17 people dying of diarrhoea in the state, the government has sent medical teams to the flood-affected districts to prevent waterborne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera and jaundice.

Cloudbursts claim four lives in Uttarakhand

At least four people were killed in Uttarakhand on Saturday in separate incidents of cloudbursts, while 10 have been reported missing when rivers breached embankments and washed away bridges and houses.

Several roads were blocked across the districts, while all the Anganwadi centres and schools in Pauri districts were shut down by the government.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has visited the injured in the hospital and taken stock of the relief and rescue operations in the affected regions. He said the state will take the help of the Army if required.

One dead in Jharkhand

In Jharkhand, a woman in West Singhbhum district died after a mud wall of her house caved in on her on Saturday under the impact of rains.

Trees and electricity poles were uprooted as rains lashed through the state due to the deep depression that crossed the Odisha coast on Friday.