15 dead as heavy rains lash three states


Staff member
New Delhi June 30:

Heavy rains lashed Uttar Pradesh, eastern Rajasthan and Jharkhand, leaving 15 people dead as a delayed South-west monsoon advanced to these states while pre-monsoon showers brought down the mercury in Harayana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

In Uttar Pradesh, which received heavy rains for the second consecutive day, lightning claimed seven lives. While two persons were killed in Maharajganj, three died in Sonbhadra and one each in Ballia and Gorakhpur districts. Gorkahpur witnessed 60 mm rainfall, Basti and Gonda recorded 178.4 mm and 33 mm rainfall respectively, the Meteorological Department said.

The temperature dropped below 40 degrees Celsius at a number of places. In Lucknow the maximum temperature was 32.2 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal. Ending a long dry spell, heavy rains lashed several parts of Jharkhand. However, at least eight persons were killed and a dozen others injured in lightning strikes in Garwah, Giridih and Palamau districts.

Delayed by 10 days, the south-west monsoon reached eastern Rajasthan, as light to moderate rains were received in parts of Ajmer, Bharatpur, Dholpur, Jaipur, Sawaimadhopur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, and Kota districts, he said. A maximum rainfall of 29.8 mm was recorded at Bharatpur followed by Jaipur 23.2mm, Banswara 16.4 mm and Chittorgarh 8 mm.

The southwest monsoon on Mondaycovered entire Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhatisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and many parts of east Uttar Pradesh, bringing relief to millions of people reeling under intense heat. Aided by the low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal, the monsoon has covered entire Central India and some parts of Rajasthan and West Uttar Pradesh, India Meteorological Department Director B.P. Yadav told reporters.

"Conditions are favourable for further advance of the southwest monsoon over some more parts of Rajasthan, remaining parts of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and some parts of east Rajasthan and west UP in the next two days," he said. Cloudy sky and scattered rains in various parts of Delhi on Monday failed to bring respite from scorching heat to the residents as the mercury hovered around the 40 degreeCelcius mark and the humidity level remained high.

Haryana and Punjab finally saw some pre-monsoon showers. Southern parts of Haryana, including Mewat and Rewari districts, and Anandpur Sahib and Madhopur in Punjab received rains. With the arrival of rains, farmers are expected to begin sowing for the kharif crop, which is crucial for the country's economy. In Himachal Pradesh, Mandi received 52.8 mm rainfall, Dharamsala (38 mm) and Shimla (29 mm).

Meanwhile, the mercury dropped at many places in the region on Monday, with the maximum temperature at Chandigarh falling by over three degrees since Sunday to settle at 38.5 C. Ludhiana and Patiala in Punjab also witnessed a fall in maximum temperature, which settled at 38.5 C. and 38.2 C, respectively. However, heat wave continued to sweep Amritsar at 44 degrees Celsius.

The mercury continues to hover above normal in Jammu and Kashmir with weathermen forcasting mainly dry weather for the next 24 hours. The day temperature in Srinagar settled at 32.6 degrees Celsius - three degrees above normal while the minimum temperature recorded one degrees above normal at 16.5 degrees Celsius, Met office said.

However, Jammu recorded normal day temperature of 41.4 degrees Celisus. The night temperature was three degrees above normal at 31.2 degrees Celsius. Katra in Jammu region was the second hottest place with a high of 38.8 and a low of 28.3 degrees.