Floods hit northern India leaving villagers stranded

Dozens rescued as raging torrents lash parts of Himachal Pradesh state and Indian-administered Kashmir.

    Torrential monsoon rains have caused flash flooding in India's hill state of Himachal Pradesh.

    The heavy downpours forced a rise in water levels in rivers and flooding in residential areas, stranding people in remote villages.

    On Sunday, a bus was washed away in a series of flash flooding tragedies in the town of Manali.

    A total of 10 districts in the hilly Himachal Pradesh state are affected by floods and the landslides they triggered.

    The National Disaster Response Force was called in to help, according to the chief of northern Himachal Pradesh state, after 19 people had to be rescued due to excessive rainfall.

    Similarly, in the popular tourist hill town of Kullu on Monday, a swollen and choppy river rushed past hotels and homes, taking parts of the embankment with it.

    The Deputy Commissioner of the town said paramilitary forces had airlifted people stranded in remote areas to safety. He added that about 50 people had been rescued from Rohtang, a mountainous area connected to the Kullu valley. A number of tourists in various cities and states had also been evacuated.

    In Indian-administered Kashmir, an overflowing river in Kathua region bulged beyond danger limits and one local resident, trapped in the water, had to be rescued on Monday just before the water breached the wall and flooded the entire area.

    Drier weather is expected across much of central and northern India over the next few days. Eastern and southern parts are likely to see the worst of the flooding. That brings with it the risk of floods returning to Kerala.

    On Monday, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a yellow alert all over the southern state of Kerala, with heavy rains expected over the next four days.

    The Director of the Indian Meteorological Department (Kerala), said district authorities were instructed to remain on high alert and take necessary precautionary measures.

    Torrential rain that began in Kerala on August 8 killed over 300 people, destroyed tens of thousands of homes, and washed away roads and bridges, leading to an estimated loss of at least $2.85bn.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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