Five people were killed due to heavy rain and 100 persons had been rescued in the past three days in various districts of Madhya Pradesh, even as a low pressure area extended from the northwest to the northeast parts of the State on Thursday.
So far, 35 people and 250 cattle reportedly died in rain-related incidents and 15 people in lightning since the onset of the monsoon in June, said Manish Rastogi, Relief Commissioner.
While on Thursday, 36 of the 53 districts were put on ‘orange alert’ expecting ‘heavy’ and ‘very heavy’ rain, 18 districts were expected to receive heavy rain on Friday, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Bhopal centre.
“Rain will continue to batter the western parts,” said G.D. Mishra, meteorologist at the IMD.” The eastern parts will get some relief in a day or two. Overall, the State, barring districts like Balaghat and Chhatarpur in the east, is beginning to receive normal rain. The depression has intensified rain. Another system is likely to develop in the Bay of Bengal around August 22.”
On the one hand, Balaghat has received 22%, Shahdol 33%, Panna 30% and Sidhi 37% less rain from June to August 15, on the other hand Bhopal and Neemuch have received 74% excess rain in the period. The worst-affected is Mandsaur, which has received 111% excess.
On Wednesday, as Mandsaur received 43.3 mm rain against a normal of 6.6 mm on the day, 2,500 people were rescued using boats and tyres and ropes and taken to seven rescue camps in Mandsaur and Malhargarh, said Collector Manoj Pushp.
In three days, five deaths had been reported in the district. While two children drowned in a stream while bathing in it, a motorcycle rider was swept away while crossing an inundated bridge and two women drowned in a stream while taking a selfie. In all, nine people and 50 cattle had reportedly died due to rain in the district this season.
“Aerial survey of Mandsaur and surrounding areas was undertaken by Revenue Minister Govind Singh Rajput,” said Mr. Rastogi. “Now the issue is not of rain anymore. It is of dams being full and water being released from them.”
On Thursday morning, in the Narmada river system, 15 of the 21 gates of the Bargi dam, near Jabalpur, and 11 of 13 gates of the Tawa dam were opened. One gate each of Jobat and Man Dams were opened. The gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam were not opened, according to M.P. Raghuvanshi, Executive Engineer, Narmada Valley Development Authority. In all, gates of 14 of the 28 dams on different rivers were opened.
Bhopal Collector Tarun Kumar Pithode said though the city had witnessed heavy rain in the past three days, there had been no reported deaths or severe waterlogging. “The situation is normal and under control.”
As water reached the full level of 1,666.8 feet in the Upper Lake, which meets 40% needs of the city, four of the 11 gates of the Bhadbhada Dam were closed on Thursday, hours after they were opened the night before.
Water levels across major rivers have been increasing with heavy rain on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday. The level in Betwa was 416.75 metres on Wednesday morning and 420.75 metres the next day. The level in Ken was 284.30 metres on Wednesday and 286.60 metres the next day.
One child had died in Raisen district while bathing in a pond, said Umashankar Bhargav, Collector. “Overall, there has been a flood-like situation in the district. The Begumganj subdivision, having more than 15 villages, has been cut off from Raisen and Sagar districts for the past two days,” he said, adding that eight people and eight cattle had reportedly died due to rain this season.
In Chhattisgarh, after rain battered hundreds of villages in the southern division of Bastar on August 10, the situation seems better now.
On the day, 2,500 people were rescued and moved to relief camps in Sukma. K.L. Sori, SDM, Sukma district, said, “The situation is under control now and people are returning to their villages as water had drained.”
Surendra Thakur, Deputy Collector, Bijapur, where six deaths were reported this season, said, “The sky has been clear for two days now and water has drained from the hills. Life is back to normal.”