Rain fury kills 24 in Himachal Pradesh, Delhi on flood alert

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International desk, August 19: Heavy rain pummelled several parts of North India on Sunday, leaving at least 28 people dead and 22 missing in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab.A flood alert was issued in parts of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh as the Yamuna and other rivers neared the danger mark, NDTV reports.

In southern India, the number of deaths in flood-ravaged Kerala climbed to 121 as more bodies were found. In Karnataka, also battered by floods, the number of deaths went up to 76, while 10 people remained missing.

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At least 24 people, including two from Nepal, were killed and nine others injured in rain-related incidents in Himachal Pradesh. Twenty-five tourists, including a foreigner, who were stranded for over two days in Kullu without access to food and shelter, were rescued on Sunday.

Landslides cut off several parts of the state, leaving hundreds of tourists and locals stranded. Train services between Kalka and Shimla and traffic on the Chandigarh-Manali highway was disrupted. All schools and colleges in Shimla, Solan, Kullu and Bilaspur districts will be closed on Monday.

Three people were killed and 22 are reported missing following a cloudburst in Uttarakhand. Flash floods in Mori block of Uttarkashi district struck several villages, washing away houses. A woman was also swept away in the Dehradun district when her car fell into a river, officials said.

Three people were killed in Punjab when the roof of their house collapsed. Heavy rain remained unabated in the state and neighbouring Haryana, triggering floods in some parts and prompting authorities to sound a high alert.

With the water level in the Yamuna River expected to cross the danger mark in the next 24 hours, the Delhi government sounded a flood alert for the city, asking people living in low-lying areas to move to safer places.

In Uttar Pradesh, several rivers, including Ganga, Yamuna and Ghaghra, are in spate. The Ganga is flowing above the danger mark in Badaun, Garhmukteshwar, Naraura and Farrukhabad. The Sharda river at Paliakalan and the Ghaghra river at Elginbridge are flowing above the red mark, authorities said.

In Kerala, ground-penetrating radars were used to locate bodies at Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Wayanad, where massive landslides had wiped out two villages. A government report said 121 people have lost their lives since August 8 and some 47,000 people are still in 296 relief camps.

The number of deaths in rain-related incidents in flood-hit Karnataka went up to 76, with the recovery of 10 more bodies, while 10 persons are were reported missing. More than 500 relief camps are still open in the state, helping over 2 lakh people with food, water and shelter, officials said.

In West Bengal, the weather in large parts of the state’s south, including capital Kolkata, improved after two days of torrential downpour that led to waterlogging in many areas and snapped road links at several places. In neighbouring Odisha, while the flood threat was called off, the weather office forecast heavy rainfall in the next two days.

Heavy rain also hit several parts of Chennai and its neighbourhood with the weather office predicting more showers over the next two days.