Red alerts have been sounded for several regions across India facing heavy rainfall, while a record-breaking downpour in capital Delhi has led to waterlogging and brought daily life to a standstill.
On Saturday, the national capital’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal cancelled leave for all government officers and asked them to inspect waterlogging problems, including widespread traffic snarls, that the city faces every time there is heavy rain.
This time, Delhi has received the highest single-day rainfall in July since 1982 and the third-highest single-day rainfall since 1958, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
A tweet from IMD said two areas in Delhi, Ridge and Safdarjung, recorded a total 28cm or 280mm of rain in the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 am on Sunday.
“15 per cent of the total rainfall of the monsoon season fell in just 12 hours,” Mr Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi. “People were very upset due to water logging. Today, all the ministers and mayor of Delhi will inspect the problem areas. Officers of all departments have been instructed to cancel the Sunday holiday and get on the ground.”
In addition to the waterlogging, the rainfall also caused disruptions in power and internet connectivity in several areas of Delhi.
Accidents were also reported in the capital city, including one severe incident where an elderly woman was crushed to death after a portion of her house collapsed on her due to heavy rain.
The victim was identified as 56-year-old Ranjit Kaur, a resident of northwest Delhi’s Karol Bagh area.
In another incident, a huge wall of Desh Bandhu college in South Delhi collapsed, damaging a number of vehicles.
In Uttar Pradesh state, a woman and her six-year-old daughter were killed early on Sunday morning after the roof of their house collapsed due to heavy rain.
Meanwhile, red and orange alerts have been issued for states across northern India.
Red alerts for rain in addition to landslides and flash floods have been issued for the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, the northern areas of Punjab and Haryana, and Jammu and Kashmir.
The IMD predicts more than 204.4mm rain to fall in these states.
On Sunday, a portion of the national highway along the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu was washed away following enormous landslides.
Traffic has been disrupted between Mandi and Kullu as several vehicles remain stranded along the highway, officials said.
Elsewhere, orange alerts have been sounded for Gujarat, the western areas of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh states and northeast India.
The IMD predicts Gujarat, west Uttar Pradesh and east Rajasthan could get 120mm rain, while areas in Madhya Pradesh could get 115.6-204.4mm rain.
The weather department has also issued a list of dos and don’ts for people in areas facing thunderstorms and lightning.
A “yellow” alert has also been issued for four districts of southern Kerala state.