India Floods: Monsoon Rains Leave 22 Dead in North as Delhi Sees Wettest July Day in Decades


Residents in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand warned not to go outside and Delhi schools closed amid flooding and landslides in multiple states

Torrential rain across northern India has killed at least 22 people, causing landslides and flash floods in the region, with Delhi receiving the most rainfall in decades, reports and officials have said.

Schools in Delhi were closed after heavy rains lashed the national capital over the weekend, and authorities in the Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand asked people not to venture out of their homes unless necessary.

At least 22 people died in floods and landslides in the northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab on Sunday, the Times of India newspaper reported.

In the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, flash floods over the weekend brought down a bridge and swept away several hutments. Authorities used helicopters to rescue people stranded on roads and bridges because of the rain, footage from ANI showed.

Streets across the northern states, including in Punjab, Delhi and Uttarakhand, were flooded. In some areas, rescue personnel used rubber rafts to rescue people stranded inside their homes, local media said.

“Please stay inside your homes because more heavy rain is expected in the next 24 hours,” Himachal Pradesh’s chief minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, said in an appeal on social media late on Sunday.

Roads in several parts of Delhi were submerged in knee-deep water on Sunday as it was inundated with 153mm of rain, the highest precipitation in a single day in July in 40 years.

Many districts in Himachal Pradesh received a month’s rainfall in a day at the weekend, said a senior weather department official.

Delhi, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh have received 112%, 100% and 70% more rainfall than average so far in the current monsoon season that started on 1 June, according to the department.

The Press Trust of India news agency reported on Sunday that 15 people had been killed over the past 24 hours in six northern Indian states.

Landslides in Himachal Pradesh had blocked about 700 roads, said Omkar Sharma, a disaster management official.

India’s meteorological department had forecast more rain across large parts of northern India in coming days.

The summer monsoon brings South Asia 70-80% of its annual rainfall, as well as death and destruction due to flooding and landslides.

The rainfall is hard to forecast and varies considerably, but scientists say climate change is making the monsoon stronger and more erratic.

Source: The Guardian