Torrential rains claim 15 lives in Uttar Pradesh

September 20th, 2008 - 6:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Sep 20 (IANS) Torrential rains claimed at least 15 lives in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, including the state capital that received the heaviest rainfall in the last 10 years for the month of September, officials said Saturday.House collapses due to heavy rains caused most of the deaths, they added.

Officials said the casualties were reported from Rae Bareli, Sitapur, Sultanpur, Hardoi, Siddhharth Nagar, Barabanki, Lucknow and Bahraich. The details of the damage caused by the rainfall were still being collected.

The maximum number of deaths was reported from Rae Bareli, where four people died in a ceiling collapse.

“Four people died when they got crushed under the ceiling of a house which collapsed in Banpurva village,” Mahendra Kumar, additional district magistrate Rae Bareli, told IANS on phone.

We are providing all necessary help to those displaced following the rains, he added.

In Lucknow, which recorded 143.6 mm of rainfall by 8.30 p.m. Friday, the highest in last 10 years in September, several localities were inundated with water.

Moreover, heavy rains alongwith strong winds at a speed of about 70 km per hour lashed the state capital throughout the day. As a result, scores of trees in several localities including, Aliganj, Nishatganj, Jankipuram, Hazratganj, and Gomtinagar were uprooted.

“Heavy rains have transformed our locality into a urban slum with submerged streets and drain water entering our houses,” said Deepak Mehrotra, a scientist with the Geological Survey of India (GSI) living in Aliganj locality.

The district magistrate ordered all schools and colleges to remain closed.

Traffic snarls took place as hoardings and trees crashed down in the heavy rains that were accompanied by strong gusts of wind.

“As there are several roof-top hoardings in Gomtinagar locality, the authorities should remove all such hoardings that can cause a mishap at any moment in this season,” said Devesh Kumar, a medical practitioner in Gomtinagar.

Majority of the localities in Lucknow remained without electricity for over 10 hours. The situation in the Old City was no different, as power supply remained disrupted for over 14 hours.

The state meteorological department has said that the present weather conditions across the state will continue for the next 24 hours.

“The change in weather is due to the depression (low pressure area) that formed over the Bay of Bengal after crossing Orissa and Chattisgarh and has now settled over Uttar Pradesh,” said L.C. Ram, state met director.

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