Two days after it covered the entire nation, the Southwest Monsoon has started gaining strength as rain-related incidents led to at least four deaths in north and northeast of the country, prompted flood alerts in Jammu and Kashmir and also hampered the annual Amarnath Yatra.
It was an uncomfortably humid day in the national capital with some parts receiving light rains which kept the mercury below the normal levels on Saturday. Officials said the relative humidity oscillated between 92 and 66 per cent.
As the light rain lashed parts of the city, the maximum temperature settled at 35 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season’s average and the minimum was 27.5, normal for this time of the year.
The monsoon covered the entire country Friday, 17 days ahead of its normal schedule.
The India Meterological Department in its bulletin on Saturday said the monsoon trough has shifted northwards. It is likely to shift further northwards towards the foothills of the Himalayas and remain there from July 1 to 6.
“Consequently, rainfall activity is very likely to occur at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over northern parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, Western Himalayan region and north eastern states on Sunday, July 2 and the next day,” it said.
In the northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir, three people, including a woman, were killed and nearly a dozen houses damaged in rain-related incidents in different districts of the Jammu region. Officials said 28 cattle also perished in the heavy rains in different districts, especially in the areas in the Chinab Valley over the past three days.
Meanwhile, intermittent rains continued in Kashmir with authorities sounding a flood alert in central Kashmir, even as water levels started receding in the southern parts of the valley.
The authorities had friday issued a flood alert in south Kashmir. Saturday they issued a flood alert for low-lying areas of the central Kashmir, including the summer capital, and asked the people to be alert and prepared for evacuation.
The schools across the valley were closed on saturday in view of the inclement weather.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah said, “We have issued a flood alert for low-lying areas of Srinagar.”
The Amarnath Yatra was suspended on both Pahalgam and Baltal routes due to inclement weather, officials said saturday. The yatra has been suspended on both the routes as the tracks are slippery because of rain, a spokesperson for the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) said.
Also, traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway was suspended due to lurking threat of floods in the Valley, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded.
Meanwhile, one more ITBP personnel, among the eight injured in friday’s landslide in Lower Siang district of the state, succumbed to his injuries yesterday, taking the toll to five.
A police officer said out of the eight injured, the condition of two personnel were critical.
Four ITBP personnel were killed when a huge boulder, loosened by monsoon rains, rolled down a mountain and hit their vehicle on the Basar-Akajan road in Lower Siang on Friday.
For Uttar Pradesh, the Met department has said rain or thundershowers are very likely at most places over the eastern and western parts of the state today.
The maximum temperatures stayed below normal levels at several places in Punjab and Haryana with Chandigarh, the joint capital of the two states, recording a maximum of 36.4 degrees Celsius.
According to MeT department forecast, light to moderate rain may occur at isolated places in Punjab and Haryana in next 24 hours. PTI