Weather update: Rains claim 8 lives in MP, cause flooding in parts of Gujarat and Odisha

The national capital, however, witnessed a cool Sunday as a cloud cover, cool breeze and patchy rains kept the mercury in check. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted intermittent light to moderate rains over the next six days.

Rajkot: Ramnath Temple submerged in flood water of Aji River after heavy rain, in Rajkot, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI18-08-2020_000130B)

Heavy rains pounded Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, which reported eight deaths in the last two days, inundating vast swathes of land and causing the rivers to swell, while several villages in coastal Odisha were inundated on Sunday by the floodwaters of the Mahanadi river.

The national capital, however, witnessed a cool Sunday as a cloud cover, cool breeze and patchy rains kept the mercury in check. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted intermittent light to moderate rains over the next six days.

The city has recorded 236.5 mm rainfall in August this year, the highest for the month in seven years, the IMD said. Overall this year, the city has gauged 555 mm precipitation against the normal of 521.8 mm since June 1, when the monsoon season starts.

Like the national capital, the maximum temperatures at most places in Haryana and Punjab hovered close to normal limits on Sunday with the joint capital of the two states recording a high of 33 degrees Celsius.

Parts of Uttar Pradesh received light to moderate rainfall at a few places while over 600 villages in 16 districts of the state remained affected by floods.

The Sharda and the Saryu rivers were flowing above the danger mark at some places in the state, even as the state relief commissioner said the flood situation was improving.

In Madhya Pradesh, eight people have died due to wall collapses and by drowning in swollen nullahs as heavy rains hit large parts of the state in the last two days, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.

He said over 7,000 people stranded in 454 villages of 12 districts were moved to safety. Efforts are underway to shift nearly 1,200 people from 40 flooded villages, the chief minister said.

The overflowing Wainganga river, a key tributary of the Godavari, washed away a bridge built about a month ago near Sunwara village in Seoni district. According to officials, the 150-metre-long bridge and was yet to be inaugurated.

The water level of the Narmada river has risen in some places.

Three helicopters of the Indian Air Force have been pressed into service to airlift stranded people, the chief minister said, adding that services of two more copters have been sought.

An Army column, comprising 70 personnel, is already involved in the rescue work and has evacuated people from flood-affected areas in Hoshangabad, he said.

On Sunday, the state witnessed a let-up in the rainfall, but heavy rainfall is expected in Indore, Ujjain, Shajapur, Ratlam, Dewas, Jhabua, Alirajpur, Mandsaur and Neemuch in the next 24 hours.

The IMD said a well-marked low-pressure area causing rains in the state has advanced over western Madhya Pradesh and adjoining eastern Rajasthan.

With the low-pressure system moving over to Rajasthan, the state received heavy rains in the past 24 hours, prompting authorities to open all 16 gates of the Mahi Dam in Banswara district.

The weatherman has forecast heavy rains in several parts of the state, including Ajmer, Bhilwara, Banswara, Bundi and Chittorgarh, and heavy to very heavy rainfall in Barmer, Bikaner, Nagaur districts during the next 24 hours.

In Maharashtra, over 14,000 people were evacuated after torrential rains over the past two days triggered floods in several tehsils of Nagpur district. Besides Nagpur, several villages in neighbouring Gadchiroli district also witnessed flooding following heavy rains.

In the neighbouring Gujarat, heavy rainfall in led to a flood-like situation in many areas, including Bharuch, where over 2,000 people from inundated areas along the Narmada river were evacuated following the release of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

Panchmahal, Rajkot, Banaskantha, Vadodara, Botad, Ahmedabad districts received heavy showers since Sunday morning, causing overflowing of several rivers and lakes. The IMD has predicted very heavy rainfall in many districts till Tuesday.

In the afternoon, the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district received over 10 lakh cusec of water due to heavy rainfall in its catchment areas. Out of this, around 8.4 lakh cusec was released into the Narmada river, causing it to swell and flooding in low-lying areas in the downstream districts of Narmada and Bharuch.

A huge amount of water was also being released from many dams.

According to officials from the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC), Gujarat has so far received 113.26 per cent of its annual average rainfall. The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in many districts of Gujarat till Tuesday.

In the east, several villages in coastal Odisha were inundated by floodwaters of the Mahanadi on Sunday with over 10 lakh cusecs flowing through the Mundali barrage near Cuttack, officials said.

The floodwaters have submerged many villages in Puri and Cuttack districts and affected road communication.

The IMD has forecast fresh rainfall in Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Rayagada, Gajapati, Malkangiri and Jajpur districts over the next three days.

The recent rain and flood in the state have claimed at least 17 lives, besides affecting over 14.32 lakh people in 3,256 villages and 21 urban areas of 20 districts, the SRC said.

Mahanadi, the biggest river in Odisha, is in spate following heavy downpour in its upper catchment areas in neighbouring Chhattisgarh three days ago that led to flow of a huge volume of water into the Hirakud reservoir.

This is likely to affect coastal districts including Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Nayagarh and parts of Kendrapara, another official said.

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