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Monsoon downpour causes Delhi traffic chaos

Exceptional rainfall hit India's capital on Saturday, bringing widespread disruption.

Last Modified: 21 Jul 2013 09:13
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The rain began at 0800GMT and over the next six hours a total of 123mm fell on the city [AFP]

Many parts of India have been inundated by torrential rain in recent weeks in one of the more active monsoon seasons of recent years.

On Saturday it was the turn of the nation’s capital, New Delhi, to experience the full force of the annual rains.

The rain began at 0800GMT (1130 local time) and over the next six hours a total of 123mm fell on the city. This is almost two thirds of the average for the entire month of July, and the Indian Meteorological Office reported it was one of the heaviest spells of rain seen in the city in the last decade.

At one point, the Yamuna river, which flows through the city, reached a level of 207.32 metres, just 0.17 metres above its record level of 1978.

One of the side-effects of the prolonged downpour was a drop in temperature from 31C to a relatively cool 23C.

New Delhi has long been accustomed to horrendous traffic congestion and the flooding brought large areas to a standstill. The areas around India Gate, the commercial area of Connaught Place and the ITO were particularly badly affected.

Poor drainage has long been a feature of urban Delhi, and the water was waist-deep in places. Many bus and auto-rickshaw passengers were forced to abandon their vehicles and wade to their destinations.

The Delhi metro service, which has many elevated sections, was largely unaffected although the stations at Malviya Nagar and Saket were temporarily closed after water began seeping through the roofs.

Northern Railway services into Delhi were interrupted as 13 trains were delayed en route.

Delhi remains at risk of heavy downpours over the next few days although there are no indications that there will be any repeat of Saturday’s deluge.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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