Torrential rains take Uttar Pradesh toll to over 1,000September 21st, 2008 - 5:16 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Sep 21 (IANS) Torrential rains over the past two days since Sunday have claimed a staggering 1,066 lives in Uttar Pradesh, besides causing considerable damage to property, an official said. Ninety-two deaths were reported over the weekend. Of the casualties, 138 drowned while the rest perished in rain-related accidents.
“The worst was on Friday when 82 deaths were reported from different parts of the state. Most of the deaths had occurred on account of house collapse or falling trees,” G.K. Tandon, state relief commissioner, told IANS Sunday morning.
Sitapur was described as the worst-hit district with as many as 42 people dying due to the incessant rain.
About 114 mm of rain, recorded in the state capital on that day, was described as the highest in any single day over the past 10 years.
Most of the rivers that had been receding over the past fortnight, have once again begun to rise, ringing alarm bells for the authorities. The state irrigation department has been alerted to keep a watch on the rising levels of Ghaghra and Sarda rivers in particular, which were bringing a lot of water from the upstream in Nepal.
“We have re-deployed the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) in a number of districts along the course of these two rivers in particular and have also started evacuation of people from the low-lying areas,” Tandon said.
Even as there was some respite on part of Saturday, the downpour came with renewed intensity by later evening and continued Sunday morning, leading to inundation of vast areas.
People remained marooned in their homes in heavily water-logged areas, while those living in hutments had to bear the water dripping through their porous and fragile thatched roofs.
“Incessant rains led to caving in of ‘kutcha’ houses, particularly in semi-urban and rural areas where most of the deaths occurred,” the relief commissioner said.
“Normal life was completely disrupted in large parts of the state and with weather pundits predicting continued downpour for the next 24 hours, there was no hope of improvement in the situation,” Tandon added.
Reports reaching here from different parts of the state said the rain was likely to cause much harm to the paddy crop as well.