Monsoon rains lash India, forcing authorities to grapple with flooding

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-24 15:51:22|Editor: Song Lifang
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NEW DELHI, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Monsoon rains in three India states - Odisha, West Bengal and Gujarat - have increased water level in rivers and water bodies, forcing local government to grapple with the flooding or the imminent threat.

Authorities in India's eastern state of Odisha Monday issued a flood alert following incessant rains that hit several parts, officials said.

The rains lashed the state, especially the northern districts, on Sunday, pushing water level up in major rivers to pass through Sundargarh district.

"Koel, Sankh and Brahmani rivers witnessed massive inflow of floodwater due to incessant rain, triggering panic among residents along riverside areas," an official said.

The Meteorological office in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha has warned that many parts of the state are likely to experience heavy to very heavy rain for the next three days.

"Extreme heavy rainfall is likely to occur at some places in districts of Sundagarh, Keonjhargarh and Mayurbhanj," the officials said.

The adjacent West Bengal state is experiencing widespread rains since Saturday, with the regional weather office predicting heavier rains for the next two days. Rivers in the southern and western districts of the state have swelled, but authorities ruled out any immediate flood threat.

Reports said road traffic between Odisha and West Bengal was affected, as the diversion on Kapagora river in Ghatshila district was washed away.

India's western state of Gujarat is already reeling under floods. The state's Chief Minister Vijay Rupani reviewed the flood situation in some parts of Saurashtra region and made an aerial survey of worst affected Chotila block in Surenranagar district.

"The chief minister instructed the district administration to speed up the relief works and asked the administrations for immediate release of payment to the families of victims in flood and heavy rain," an official said.

"He also asked the state administration to remain on alert following heavy to very heavy rain warning by met office in next 48 hours," he added.

The local government officials are trying hard to restore electricity and vehicular traffic in the affected areas.

Last week seven people were killed and three others reported missing due to rains that hit the state. The monsoon flooding clogged roads and submerged areas. Authorities pressed in disaster response force personnel to carry out rescue operations in the affected areas. More than 2,000 people have been rescued from low-lying areas in the region and shifted to safer locations, officials said.

Meanwhile, rains have brought smiles back on the faces of farmers in several states who have commenced sowing of paddy. Agriculture in India is mostly dependent of monsoons.

Monsoon rains have already triggered a severe flooding in India's northeastern states this month.

In Assam alone over 1.75 million people were affected by the current wave of floods. Of the states 33 districts in state, 26 are reeling under flood fury. According to local government officials 52 people were killed due to floods.