Incessant rains have wreaked havoc in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, claiming more than 20 lives in the north Indian states. The flood-like situation prompted the Punjab government to issue red alert and order closure of educational institutions on Tuesday even as the Army remains on alert.
In Punjab, a total of six people died in rain-related incidents â€” three in Kapurthala, two in Amritsar and an 8-month-old girl in Jalandhar. A brother-sister duo and a labourer died in separate roof-collapse incidents in Kapurthala, while a 43-year-old man and his 12-year-old son were killed when the car they were travelling in plunged into a rivulet in Amritsarâ€™s Khiala village on Sunday night.Â
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) issued an advisory Monday to the Punjab government that it will release "excess" water from the Pong dam in the wake of incessant rains in catchment area of the Beas river.While reviewing the situation triggered by continuous rains in the state, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh put the Army on alert to help the state deal with any eventuality.Â
Fearing damage to kharif crops because of widespread downpour, the state government also ordered a special 'girdawari' to assess crop damage.Punjab has been witnessing widespread rains for the last two days and the downpour continued on Monday as well.Rains are likely to lash isolated places in Punjab and Haryana on Tuesday, though it will recede thereafter, an official of the Chandigarh Meteorological Department said.
At least five people of a family, including three minors, were killed in a landslide in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir and a woman and youth in the stateâ€™s Kathua district. Heavy rains led to landslides which blocked the roads to Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamunotri, affecting the Chardham Yatra, while traffic snarled in the national capital due to waterlogging following heavy rains.
Kathua: Gates of Ranjit Sagar Dam opened to release excess water following heavy & incessant rainfall in the region; Deputy Commissioner, Rohit Khajuria, says, 'we had warned people that gates will be opened & they should stay away'. #JammuAndKashmir pic.twitter.com/50ePW3vZKOâ€” ANI (@ANI) September 24, 2018
With improvement in weather, authorities on Monday morning opened the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway for traffic.Multiple landslides and shooting stones from a hillock along the highway between Ramban and Udhampur districts had blocked the arterial road since Sunday morning.
According to the Meterological department, heavy to very heavy rain is expected at isolated places in western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh.
In Haryana, Ambala recorded 53 mm of rainfall. The maximum temperature was 25.2 degrees Celsius. Here, four people were killed in rain-related accidents on Monday. Three people were killed in roof-collapse incidents in Karnal, Kurukshetra and Ambala districts, while a woman was killed and seven others were injured when a tree fell on the vehicle they were travelling in on the Ambala-Naraingarh road.
In Himachal Pradesh, five people died and as many were injured in separate incidents as heavy rains lashed Kullu, Kangra and Chamba districts on Monday.Four people, including a girl, died in Kullu, while a man died in Kangra district as heavy rains triggered flash floods and landslides in many parts of the state on Monday.
Schools have been directed to remain closed in Kangra, Kullu and Hamirpur districts on Tuesday as a precautionary measure, they said.
(With PTI inputs)