Bihar flood situation grim; Heavy rains lash many states, ‘orange’ alert for Mumbai

Heavy rains submerged low-lying areas and snapped road links in many states, including Odisha, Uttarakhand and Gujarat, while the flood situation worsened in Bihar, with the number of people affected by the deluge increasing to 82.92 lakh on Friday.
In Uttarakhand, a man and his two children were buried alive when their house collapsed following rains in Pithoragarh district, while the body of a woman was found in a village four days after she went missing during a landslide.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Maharashtra has issued an ‘orange’ alert for Mumbai, Thane and rest of the Konkan region for Saturday, forecasting heavy rainfall.
The orange alert implies that authorities should be ready to handle situations arising out of severe weather.
The flood situation in Bihar remained grim with an additional 1.13 lakh people bearing the brunt in 16 districts in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of affected people to 82.92 lakh, a Disaster Management Department bulletin said.
Flood-related deaths remained unchanged at 27, it said and as many as 82,92,464 people have been affected by the deluge in 1,322 panchayats of 130 blocks since Thursday.
The bulletin said that an additional five panchayat areas faced flood fury in the past 24 hours while the number of blocks and districts remained the same at 130 and 16 respectively.
Till Thursday, 81,79,257 people were impacted by the calamity.
In West Bengal, high tidal waves owing to new moon and incessant rain have caused the water level to rise in the Sunderbans area, damaging earthen dams along various rivers even as the meteorological (MeT) department on Friday warned of more heavy downpour due to formation of a low pressure area in the region.
Breaches in the earthen dams on embankments in the riverine region have damaged mud houses, sources said.
Farmers are apprehensive of major losses in yields as saline water entering fields would destroy crops, including paddy, vegetables and also sweet water fish, they said.
The MeT department has warned of heavy rain in south Bengal, especially in the coastal districts of South and North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore.
On the rain situation in Maharashtra, IMD Senior Director (Mumbai) Shubhangi Bhute said, “Due to the well-marked low pressure on East MP and associated cyclonic circulation, Konkan region and ghat (upland) areas of central Maharashtra are likely to witness heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next 48 hours.” Wind speeds are expected to be between 45 km to 55 km, she said in a video message.
“Orange alert is being issued for Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg for next 24 hours,” Bhute added.
The hill-state of Uttarakhand, which is witnessing heavy rain in several of its areas, saw traffic being disrupted on several roads, including those to Himalayan temples of Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamunotri.
The roads got blocked at several points with rocks and boulders tumbling down hills following rains, the state disaster management office said in Dehradun.
In Odisha, incessant downpour triggered by a series of low-pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal increased water level in several rivers, submerged many low- lying areas and claimed two lives on Friday, officials said.
The state government, however, ruled out any fear of flood and said though the water level in some rivers had crossed the danger mark, it is likely to recede as the intensity of rainfall in upper catchment areas has now subsided.
Many parts of Odisha have been battered by heavy rainfall under the impact of four back-to-back low pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal this month, officials said.
In Gujarat, as many as 131 roads, including a national highway and seven state highways, were shut for traffic as rains continued to lash several parts of the state on Friday, officials said.
With the formation of a low-pressure area, some parts of the state are likely to get heavy to very heavy rainfall on Saturday and Sunday, the (IMD) said.
Incessant rainfall since Friday morning resulted in water-logging in several parts of the state.
In Telangana, hundreds of people have been shifted to safer places in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district following heavy rains, even as relief works got underway in other affected areas of the state.
The water level in the Godavari river in the temple town of Bhadrachalam (in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district) was flowing above the danger level of 53 feet and stood at 54.90 feet at 1 pm, officials said.
In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the Godavri’s level inched closer to the danger mark at the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage in East Godavari district.
On the other side, the Krishna river too received copious inflows bringing the Srisailam reservoir closer to its full capacity, consequent to which over 4.96 lakh cusecs of water was being discharged downstream.
The IMD issued a red alert of extremely heavy rainfall in six districts of Madhya Pradesh, even as downpour continued in several parts of the state.
As per the alert, which will be valid till Saturday morning, extremely heavy rainfall is very likely to occur at isolated places in Hoshangabad, Jabalpur, Betul, Narsinghpur, Seoni and Harda districts.