Says monsoon trough likely to shift towards foothills of the Himalayas around June 20

Even as the authorities grappled with the havoc wreaked by the torrential rains in Uttarakhand , the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday warned that more rains are in the offing.

As per the latest IMD bulletin, rain would continue to lash most places in Uttarakhand over the next 48 hours, with the possibility of heavy to very heavy downpours in a few places.

The bulletin also warned that heavy rainfall could occur in Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, West Uttar Pradesh, West Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Konkan and Goa, Madhya Maharashtra, coastal Karnataka and Kerala over the next 48 hours.

Speaking to The Hindu , a senior IMD official said that there could, however, be some respite after two days. “The monsoon trough is likely to shift towards the foothills of the Himalayas around June 20 and as a result, the rain band could move to east and north-east India which have not got much rain so far.”

As of Monday, the meteorological region of east and north-east had a deficit of 47 per cent, getting just 87 mm of rain against the normal 165 mm.

In contrast, the north-west region has registered a cumulative rainfall of 72 mm against 25 mm, Central India 153 mm against the normal 54 mm and the southern peninsular region 128 mm against the normal 76 mm.

Arunachal Pradesh was the worst hit with rainfall of just 63 mm against the normal of 241 mm followed by the Assam-Meghalaya region with 92 mm against 254 mm. The Nagaland-Manipur-Mizoram-Tripura area followed with 76 mm against 218 mm.

The IMD has predicted that the overall rains during the current monsoon season would be normal at 98 per cent for the country and that it would be well distributed across the nation.

According to the prediction issued last Friday, the southern peninsular is likely to top the table with 103 per cent rainfall for the season as a whole, followed by Central and north-east India with a rainfall of 98 per cent each and north-west 94 per cent.

The monsoon has begun on a good note this year, covering the entire country on Sunday, setting a new record. So far, the earliest coverage of the system over the entire country was on June 21, 1961.

Flash floods claim

15 lives in U.P.

Lucknow Special Correspondent writes

Flash floods following heavy rains in the last 24 hours have claimed 15 lives in Uttar Pradesh with Saharanpur district bearing the brunt of the deluge. All the casualties have been reported from Saharanpur city and adjoining areas.

Massive rescue and relief operations have been launched in Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Bijnor in the west.

Several marooned persons have been airlifted from Saharanpur city. IG (Law and Order) R.K. Vishwakarma said that among the 15 casualties were those killed in incidents of house collapse. About 45 persons were still stranded there, he said. Among those killed in the flash floods was a chief medical officer of Punjab whose car was washed away, he added. The situation was particularly serious in Shakumbhari, bordering Uttarakhand.

The Purkazi-Laksar road in Bijnor district has been closed to traffic as it is five feet under water. Relief operations have also been launched in Bhopa on Muzaffarnagar-Bijnor road and Nakud in Saharanpur. The IG said flood relief companies have been moved to the affected areas from Hapur and Agra.