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5 killed in Rajasthan, toll reaches 79; rains in North West

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 23 (UNI) Five people were killed in a house collapse in Rajasthan's Barmer city today as the toll in rain-related incidents in the state went up to 79 with the recovery of 38 bodies from Malwa village in Barmer district. The northwest region and Gujarat experienced rains.

In Rajasthan, about 70 people were stuck in a madrassa in Malwa village from yesterday as heavy and continuous downpour inundated the area completely. The Army, involved in the rescue operation under 'Operation Sara Jahan' were able to recover 38 bodies till this morning. The fate of the rest of the people is not known although the rescue process is still on.

Several villages in western Rajasthan are completely submerged and cut off and thousands of people, trapped in the gushing flood waters, are battling for life. Crops have been destroyed and thousands of livestock have been swept off in the rising waters.

Rail and communication lines have been disrupted.

About 250 people in Kawas village in Barmer district are still trapped in the floods. The Army has been handed over Barkha, Tand, Rajvi, Malwa, Lakha, Munseriya, Guga, Shiv, Bhimar, Undu, Nimbla in Barmer to conduct the rescue operations.

Devotees bound for the famous Ram Devra fair in Jaisalmer has been stopped from undertaking the journey.

At least 4,000 people surrounded by water have taken refuge over high sand-dunes and are waiting to be rescued.

With the rains receding a bit earlier in the day, the rescue operations have gained momentum in the region. All roads except the one connecting Jodhpur are blocked and communication services have become crippled.

With the heavy damage to railway tracks, the services of several trains have been hit in the two districts including the Munabao-Khokrapar Thar Express.

Helicopters are conducting aerial survey in the two districts to drop food packets and rescue stuck people, informed relief secretary, R K Meena.

Reports from Udaipur say several low-lying areas in the city are under water. Although the levels have receded, one and a half feet water is still there. Sixteen gates of Mahi dam have been opened at a level of one and a half feet.

The national capital experienced light to moderate rainfall, breaking a nearly month-long lull in rainfall activity.

Though the rainfall, which followed a heavily overcast sky since morning, led to a drop in maximum temperature to 34.0 degrees Celsius, from 36.2 degrees C yesterday, a largely still air and high level of humidity led to the persisting of sultry weather conditions in the capital.

The rainfall, which began as light showers at around 1400 hours, was soon followed by a short burst of heavy rain.

About 19.0 mm of rainfall was recorded till 1730 hours, the weather office said.

In Punjab, moderate to heavy rain pounded some parts of the state with Nangal Dam site turning the wettest place recording 93.2 mm rainfall till this morning. Balachour measured 53.1 mm, Madopur 18 mm, Ranjit Sagar Dam site 5.4 mm and Shahpur Kandi 2.0 mm rainfall. Rains also lashed the holy city of Amritsar.

In Haryana, rains were also experienced in certain parts with Karnal recording 5.8 mm and Ambala 0.1 mm.

In Himachal Pradesh, moderate rain lashed many areas, including the mid and lower hills, triggering fresh landslides in the state.

Some areas in Kangra, Mandi and Kullu district reported heavy rainfall.

Moderate rain lashed Shimla and tourist resorts of Wildflower Hall, Kufri, Naldehra and Narkanda last night. Shimla recorded 14.7 mm rainfall till this morning.

Chandigarh and its adjoining areas also received rain overnight.

Some parts of Gujarat also experienced rains.

UNI TEAM PA RP RN1837

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