Rains drench parched North India



New Delhi: Rains drenched almost all parts of Northern region as eight persons were washed away in a flash flood in Himachal Pradesh.

National capital welcomed a rainy weekend with over 40 mm of rains in the first few hours of the monsoon which hit Delhi yesterday.

The showers brought down the minimum temperature to 23.2 degree Celsius, four degrees below normal. This is the first time in the past over one month that the minimum temperature has come below normal levels.

Eight persons were washed away in a flash flood in Paonta Sahib area of Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.

Massive search operations have been launched and police and home guard jawans were deployed to trace the missing persons, "but the chances of their survival were very dim," a senior official said.

Water level in almost all the rivers and their tributaries in the state was rising.

Several parts of Himachal, including Shimla and Manali which recorded 13.6 mm and 13 mm of rains are experiencing intermittent heavy rains since last evening, triggering landslides in remote areas, reports reaching here said.

Kangra, Shimla, Sirmaur, Hamir, Bilaspur, Solan and Chamba received heavy rains till this morning and Mehre was wettest in the region with 95 mm rains while Ghamroor and Kahu had 90 mm and 70 mm of rains, followed by Dharamsala, Ghumarwin, Sujanpur Tira and Gohar 68.5 mm each.

The South-West monsoon advanced into the remaining parts of Uttar Pradesh in the past 24 hours resulting in rains in several parts of the state.

Parched land of Punjab and Haryana were also lashed by monsoon rains causing a dip in mercury.

Chandigarh was drenched by 118.5 mm rains, providing respite to people from hot and humid conditions.

Ludhiana got 51 mm downpour, Madhopur 67 mm, Pathankot 52 mm and Phagwara 44 mm.

In Haryana, Panchkula registered 55 mm rainfall, Kalka 40 mm, Narnaul 36 mm, Ambala 64.2 mm and Rohtak 12.2 mm.

The rains brought smiles on the faces of farmers as it will boost and benefit paddy transplantation.

Release of water in Burrhi Rapti, Baan Ganga Kurra, Ghonghi rivers had adversely affected Naugarh, Shohratgarh, Itwa and Bansi areas of the state, he said.

Yadav said joint projects in hydel power and using the water for irrigation works would be taken up with Nepal so as to ensure proper utilisation of surplus water.

In Kerala, the toll in landslips and flashfloods triggered by heavy rain in Kozhikode district rose to five with the recovery of two more bodies even as the government has sought help of the Navy and National Disaster Rescue Force in relief operations.

Search for three more persons reportedly missing are in progress, officials said.

Naval sources told PTI that two teams of naval personnel have already left for Kozhikode and Kannur districts.

Heavy rain had wrought havoc in Pulloorampara hill region of Kozhikode and Iritty in Kannur district.

PTI