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India reels under rain, floods
July 25, 2013, 10:34 am

The death toll in the floods in India is mounting steadily, with rivers rising and rains continuing to lash the country on Wednesday.

In Uttar Pradesh, the death toll has climbed up to 152. Most rivers continue to flow above the danger mark. Heavy rains are battering the land adding to people’s troubles. More than 500,000 people have been displaced.

The government is yet help villagers who have been deprived of their livelihood. Ten rivers in the state — Sharda, Ghaghra, Ramganga, Ganga, Yamuna, Betwa, Kain, Gomti, Sai and Saryu — are in spate and have devastated large areas.

The Gomti river has flooded many villages in Sitapur, Lucknow and Sultanpur, while the Sai river has wreaked havoc in parts of Lucknow and Rae Bareilly. Ghaghra and Saryu river waters have gushed into villages in Barabanki, Faizabad, Gorakhpur, Basti, Kushinagar, Bahraich, Gonda and Shravasti.

Officials put the number of cattle deaths at 478 and said several acres of agricultural land in 15 districts have been inundated.

In Andhra Pradesh, the rivers Godavari and Krishna are in spate and the authorities have sounded a high alert in flood hit areas. The death has risen to 21 over the past week. The Godavari has crossed the danger mark number at Bhadrachalam in Khammam district.

Central Water Commission officials said the Godavari is flowing at the 53 feet (16.1 metres) mark and is likely rise by another three feet.

The Meteorological Centre in Hyderabad has warned of heavy to very heavy rains in ten districts of Andhra Pradesh, especially in Telangana and coastal Andhra over the next 48 hours. There is a depression over the Bay of Bengal and adjoining areas.

What has left weather officials and experts astounded is that the state is experiencing unabated rains for almost two weeks with the north Telangana region bearing the brunt of it.

“This indicates a change in the rain pattern. Earlier we were getting rain during August–September, but this year the state has received more rains during June-July,” said T.R. Kolanu, an expert.

The weather office said the state has received almost 15 per cent more than normal rainfall so far this year.

In Kerala, the authorities estimate the death toll to be 131. About 250,000 people are in relief camps, most of which are in Alappuzha district. The damage to the agriculture sector alone is Rs4.80 billion.

There has seen widespread damage to roads which has led to slow traffic. Even the Main Central Road (MC Road) that runs through much of central Travancore has been seriously damaged.

In the first 40 days of this year’s monsoon from June 1 to July 10, Kerala received 139.1 cm of rain, which is 48 per cent above normal. The quantity of rainfall in this period is also a five-year record. The met department has forecast heavy rainfall in isolated places in Kerala and Lakshadweep until Thursday.

In West Bengal, unlike other Indian cities, Kolkata, which is usually lashed by rain, is facing a shortage this year. The city experienced just 159 millimetres of rain between June 1 to 16 — the second lowest in a decade. The overall shortage is more than 32 per cent.


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