North India rains: 22 people killed in JK, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh

Upto 22 people have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh following incessant rains which overshadowed the northern area of India. A red alert has been issued in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, while the Indian Army has been kept on standby.

Five were killed after a landslide hit the temporary shelter they were residing in in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district on Sunday night.

According to the Meteorological department, heavy to very heavy rain is expected at isolated places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh.

20 percent of standing paddy crop has been damaged in Punjab due to the rains. Agriculture department officials said that the damage would be more because the final assessment of damage can be done only after the rain stops.

Villages near the Sutlej river have been put on high alert and a team of police personnel have been dispatched for monitoring the overall situation and kickstarting evacuation, if needed.

“We have put villages near Sutlej river on high alert. Additional police force has been sent to Machhiwara from Khanna for checking and rehabilitation of border villages. If need be, we are ready to shift families to safer places. Two families have been shifted to a community centre in Khanna city-2 area after their homes were found to be weak and there was an apprehension of a collapse. More such buildings are being identified which may collapse due to continuous rain,” Khanna SSP Dhruv Dahiya said.

“We have also arranged for safety equipments including boats, life jackets, ropes, torches, dragon lights, tubes etc as they will be needed for night patrolling today,” the SSP added.

Earlier, water level, in a first for decades, at Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake reached maximum capacity. Water level in Bhakra dam was at 1,655 metres as against a capacity of 1,680 metres, in Pong it was at 1,384 metres. The maximum capacity at Pong dam is 1,390 metres. Water was, however, released from Punjab’s Ranjit Sagar Dam. Water was also let out from Sukhna lake and the road towards Kishangarh was closed.

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