There was no respite from the devastating floods in Assam and Bihar on Friday with three more deaths reported from the northeastern state, and nearly 37 lakh people severely affected so far.
In Assam, nearly 27 lakh people across 33 districts have been affected by the deluge. The deaths were reported from the Barpeta, Kokrajhar and Morigaon districts. The death toll due to floods and landslides this year has risen to 122.
Nearly a million people have been affected in Bihar, where the Gandak river breached two embankments at three places, leaving several areas inundated. There was no report of loss of life so far.
According to the state disaster management department's bulletin, a total of 9.60 lakh people have been affected by floodwaters in 529 panchayats of 74 blocks in 10 districts.
President Ram Nath Kovind spoke to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and expressed solidarity with the affected people of the state. He flagged off nine trucks carrying Red Cross relief supplies for the flood and Covid-19 affected people of Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
In Arunachal Pradesh, incessant rainfall over the past couple of days has snapped road connectivity to several districts, besides resulting in a flood-like situation, as per official reports.
Landslides triggered by continuous rains have completely destroyed important road links in various parts of West Siang district, one such report said.
Meanwhile, the India meteorological department (IMD) said fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls are likely in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar from July 26-28, and in Punjab and Haryana between July 27-29.
The intensity and distribution of rainfall is very likely to increase over sub-Himalyan West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh with occurrence of widespread rainfall activity along with isolated heavy to extremely heavy rainfall during July 26-29, it said.
In Bihar, the Gandak river turned turbulent following discharge of 4,36,500 lakh cusecs of water from Valmikinagar barrage on July 21 due to heavy rainfall on July 19, 20 and 21 in the catchment area of Nepal.
Due to a heavy downpour, 80,000 to 1,00,000 cusecs of water was discharged in the river, Jha said.
The Gandak river water has also overtopped National Highway 28 in Gopalganj due to the breaches, disrupting vehicular movement between Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and the districts of Muzaffarpur, East Champaran and West Champaran in Bihar.
Thirteen teams of the NDRF and eight of the state disaster response fund (SDRF) are involved in the rescue operations as part of which 93,891 people have been evacuated from the marooned areas so far.
The districts affected by the floods are West Champaran, East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Supaul, Kishanganj, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, and Khagaria.
Several rivers such as Baghmati, Burhi Gandak, Kamlabalan, Lalbakeya, Adhwara, Khiroi and Mahananda are flowing above the danger level while the Ganga river is flowing below the danger mark at all locations, including two places at Gandhi ghat and Digha ghat in Patna.
In the northern part of the country, partly cloudy skies kept the mercury in check in Delhi, and only sporadic rains are predicted in the next two to three days.
The weather office said widespread rains are likely in northwest India, including Delhi-NCR, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Friday, the safdarjung observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded a maximum temperature of 35.4 degrees celsius, a notch more than normal. Humidity level shot up to 94 per cent.
According to IMD data, the safdarjung observatory has recorded 225 mm rainfall in July so far, which is 44 per cent more than the normal of 156.4 mm. The Palam and Lodhi Road weather stations have also recorded 31 and 58 per cent more rains in July.
Several parts of Uttar Pradesh received light to moderate rains as well.
Dharohra (Kheri) recorded 5 cm of rainfall; Hata (Kushinagar), Mawana( Meerut) and Shardanagar( Kheri) 4 cm each; Bah, Dhampur ( Bijnore) 3 cm each while Dudhi (Sonbhadra), Elgin Bridge (Barabanki) and Turtipar 2 cm each, according to the weather office in Lucknow.
In Punjab and Haryana, the maximum temperatures hovered close to normal limits and the weather remained dry.
Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a maximum of 34.9 degrees celsius.
In Haryana, Hisar recorded a high of 34.9 degrees celsius, two notches below the normal. Narnaul recorded a high of 33.2 degrees celsius, down three notches, while Ambala recorded a high of 35 degrees celsius.
Karnal recorded a maximum temperature of 33.8 degrees celsius.
In Punjab, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala also recorded maximum temperatures close to normal limits at 35 degrees celsius, 34.6 degrees celsius and 34.5 degrees celsius, respectively.
The IMD said no significant change in temperatures was likely in most parts of the country during the next three-four days.