Death toll in Idduki landslide rises to 52; floods worsen in Assam, Bihar

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August 11, 2020 9:43 PM

 Personnel of NDRF, Fire, Forest and police departments have expanded their search operations to the downstream of a river in their efforts to trace 19 more people who are still missing in the August 7 tragedy near Rajamala.

The water level at Mullaperiyar reservoir in Idukki district reached 136.85 feet on Tuesday. (AP)

The death toll in the Idukki landslide rose to 52 with three more bodies being recovered on Tuesday as life limped to normalcy in Kerala even as the flood situation worsened in Assam and Bihar, affecting lakhs of people. In Idukki district, the bodies of two men and a woman were recovered from debris and rescue operations continued to trace those missing in the landslide. Personnel of NDRF, Fire, Forest and police departments have expanded their search operations to the downstream of a river in their efforts to trace 19 more people who are still missing in the August 7 tragedy near Rajamala.

Meanwhile, the water level at Mullaperiyar reservoir in Idukki district reached 136.85 feet on Tuesday. With a let-up in the rains, water receded in many low-lying areas of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. There was no red alert warning in any of the state’s 14 districts as the intensity of rains had decreased and the affected areas had started limping back to normalcy.

The flood situation in Bihar worsened as the water entered fresh areas, affecting over 62,000 more people in 16 districts, taking the number of flood victims to more than 75 lakh, a bulletin by the state Disaster Management Department bulletin said. The number of affected panchayats increased to 1,260 from Monday’s 1,240 though that of the flood-hit districts remained at 16. There was no fresh report of deaths in flood-related incidents in the state and the figure stood at 24. The flood situation in Assam deteriorated on Tuesday with nearly 14,000 people across three districts being affected, an official bulletin said. On Monday, over 9,200 persons were suffering due to the deluge across four districts.

According to the daily flood report of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), more than 13,800 persons are hit due to floods in Dhemaji, Baksa and Morigaon districts. Dhemaji is the worst-hit district with more than 12,000 people suffering, followed by Baksa (1,000 persons affected) and Morigaon (over 800 people).

Meanwhile, the flood situation in Uttar Pradesh improved further as three districts were dropped from the list of affected places, officials said. On Monday, a total of 19 districts in the state were listed as affected by the flood, however, Mahrajganj, Pilibhit and Siddharth Nagar were removed from the list the next day, they said. Sixteen districts in the state are still in the official list of places affected by the floods.

According to Relief Commissioner Sanjay Goyal, a total of 517 villages in these 16 districts are affected and 268 have got marooned. Sharda river in Palliakalan (Lakhimpur Kheri) and Ghaghra in Turtipar (Ballia) are flowing above the danger mark, he said, adding that relief and rescue operations are underway. Very heavy rainfall occurred at isolated places in western Uttar Pradesh, while some locations in the eastern part of the state received heavy showers.

According to the meteorological department, light to moderate rainfall and thunderstorm, accompanied with lightening, also occurred at some places in the state. Rain or thundershower is very likely at most places in the state from Wednesday to Friday, the MeT department said.

Delhi received sporadic light rains as high humidity continued to trouble residents. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded 8.6 mm rainfall till 5:30 pm. The Lodhi Road and Ayanagar weather stations recorded 3.2 mm and 1.3 mm precipitation, respectively. The city recorded a maximum of 36.8 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal, the meteorological department said.

Earlier, the IMD had predicted ‘moderate to heavy rains’ in the city from Sunday evening to Wednesday. The IMD has forecast that heavy rainfall is likely in isolated places of coastal Maharashtra, including Mumbai, till August 15.

While Mumbai is expected to receive light to moderate showers, neighbouring districts of Thane, Palghar, Raigad and Ratnagiri may witness heavy rains at isolated places, an IMD official said. “A similar forecast has been issued for Pune, Kolhapur and Satara districts as well till August 15. However, districts in North Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha may receive light to moderate rainfall in the same period,” the official said.

Some parts of Himachal Pradesh received light rainfall, with the MeT Department forecasting rains till August 17.
Una and Nahan each received 2 mm rainfall, while Kangra 0.4 mm and Sundernagar 0.3 mm, Shimla MeT Dentre Director Manmohan Singh said. Rains have been forecast in the hill state till Monday. The maximum temperature in the state increased by one to two degrees during the last 24 hours, he added. The highest temperature in the state was recorded in Una at 34 degrees Celsius and the lowest in Keylong at 13 degrees Celsius, Singh said. In Punjab and Haryana, the maximum temperatures hovered close to normal. According to the MeT forecast, rain or thunder showers are likely at many places in Haryana and Punjab over the next two days.

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