Rains damage crops in Punjab, 9 killed in rain related cases

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Chandigarh, Aug 14 (UNI) Moderate to heavy rains lashed parts of Punjab for the third successive day even as the state government sounded an alert following rise in the water levels of the Beas, Sutlej and Ravi rivers and overflowing of several seasonal rivulets and drains causing damage to standing crops.

The death toll in rain related incidents in Punjab rose to 12 with nine more deaths being reported today.

In other parts of the region, light to moderate rains were reported from Haryana and the hill state of Himachal Pradesh leading to landslides at several places.

Reports reaching here said that six persons including a one-and-a-half-year old girl was washed away following flash floods in several seasonal rivulets (choes) flowing down the lower Shivalik hills in Hoshiarpur district.

Hoshiarpur Deputy Commissioner N K Wadhawan said that one-and-a-half-year old Sanju of Khawaspur, Rakesh Mohan (30) of Soos village and Channu Ram (65) of Jandoli, were washed away in the flash floods. He said that three deaths due to drowning occured elsewhere in the district.

Two labourers were killed when the wall of a mall under construction caved-in on Ladhowal road in Ludhiana today. The incident occured after water collected in the basement of the mall following heavy rains yesterday and today.

Another death was reported in Amritsar district where a villager died following a roof collapse in Gumtala village. Three deaths were reported in Amritsar and Tarn Taran district yesterday.

Following instructions by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the Deputy Commissioners have ordered special girdawri to assess the losses occuring due to flash floods. The state government has released money to the districts from the Calamity Relief Fund to provide immediate relief for loss of life and property.

The health authorities have directed to tour the flood hit areas to distribute required medicines for preventing the outbreak of water borne diseases. Reports here said that crops in low lying areas in Nurpur Bedi belt of Ropar district were destroyed following flash floods in the seasonal rivulets.

(Eds: here picking up from CH 10) UNI HS VN1955

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