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Heavy rains pound Delhi as Monsoon lands; 5 dead; waterlogging, traffic snarls add to chaos

INDHeavy rains pound Delhi as Monsoon lands; 5 dead; waterlogging, traffic snarls add to chaos

Five people died in rain-related incidents in Delhi on June 28 as Monsoon arrived with a fury early in the morning, lashing the city with its highest rainfall in a single day of June in 88 years which brought it to a standstill with streets flooded, traffic in chaos and some commuters stranded on roads.

The deceased included a cab driver who died after a portion of a canopy at the Delhi airport collapsed on cars following the rains. Flight operations were suspended at Delhi airport’s Terminal-1 following the incident.

A 39-year-old man was electrocuted in Rohini’s Prem Nagar area after he came in contact with a live wire. Two children drowned in a rainwater pool in New Usmanpur area.

Police Also said that a man in his late 20s drowned in rainwater accumulated at an underpass in northwest Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh area.

Besides, three labourers were trapped when an under construction wall in Vasant Vihar collapsed early morning. Rescue operations continued till evening, their hopes of survival dimming with each passing minute.

Key tunnels like the one at Pragati Maidan were closed and reports of homes being flooded came in from across the city, including the upscale areas of Lutyens’ Delhi. Bungalows of Delhi Water Minister Atishi and several MPs, including Congress’s Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari and Samjawadi Party’s Ramgopal Yadav, were flooded.

In several areas, vehicles were submerged as rainwater flooded streets. Many areas experienced severe power cuts and several trees were uprooted.

In Kishanganj, passengers stuck inside a bus under the flooded Kodia Bridge underpass were pulled out by police and rescue teams. Using life jackets and water tubes tied with ropes, officials waded through the water to take out the passengers.

Highest rainfall in a single day of June in 88 years

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, 228.1 mm of rainfall was recorded at Safdarjung, the city’s primary weather station, 192.8 mm at Lodhi Road, Mausam Bhavan, 150.4 mm at Ridge, 106.6 mm at Palam, and 66.3 mm at Ayanagar in the last 20 to 30 hours.

The IMD, which defines very heavy rain as rainfall amounting to between 124.5 and 244.4 mm in a day, said that the monsoon has arrived. The downpour began around 3 a.m.

The 228.1 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ending at 8.30 am.. on Friday is more than three times the June rainfall average of 74.1 mm and the highest for the month since 1936.

On June 24, 1936, 235.5 mm rainfall was recorded in the month of June in Delhi. On June 24, 1933, 139.7 mm rainfall was recorded while Delhi recorded 191.6 mm rainfall on June 30, 1981.

In many residential areas, locals had to wade through waist-deep water to leave their homes. Waterlogging in many areas of the city led to a flood-like situation forcing vehicles to crawl amid massive traffic jams.

Over 300 complaints on waterlogging issues

The civic agencies and police on Friday received over 300 complaints regarding the waterlogging issues from across Delhi. Similarly, the calls related to the traffic and falling of trees have also reached to these departments.

The Delhi Traffic Police issued alerts to notify the affected carriageways, advising commuters to plan their journey accordingly.

Sharing a video of his waterlogged house on X, Mr. Tharoor in a post said carpets and furniture, indeed anything on the ground, were “ruined”.

“This is the corner just outside my home in Lutyens’ Delhi. Woke up to find my entire home under a foot of water ‘” every room. Carpets and furniture, indeed anything on the ground, ruined.

“Apparently the storm water drains in the neighbourhood are all clogged so the water had no place to go. And they switched off the electricity since 6 a.m. for fear of electrocuting people. Warned my Parliament colleagues that I might not make it there without a boat. But the city managed to pump water out of the roads and I did arrive in time!,” he said.

Congress MP Manish Tewari was seen walking through flooding at his residence with shoes in his hand and pants folded till knees while he was heading for the Parliament.

In a video on social media, Ramgopal Yadav is seen carried by his staff to his car as rain water entered his house.

Power cuts, several trees uprooted

Due to the heavy rains, many areas experienced severe power cuts. Power disruption was caused due to technical faults and precautionary shutdown in the city’s waterlogged areas, the officials of power distribution companies (discoms) operating in Delhi said.

Residents of Dwarka, Jangpura and Laxmi Nagar said the power supply was cut as soon as it started raining in their areas.

The heavy rains also lead to trees getting uprooted in many areas causing damage to properties and cars parked in residential areas. In South Delhi’s East of Kailash, a huge peepal tree fell blocking the road in the area.

The Delhi government will set up a 24-hour control room to monitor the waterlogging situation, minister Saurabh Bharadwaj announced.

Mr. Bharadwaj and his ministerial colleagues Atishi, Gopal Rai and Imran Hussain held an emergency meeting in the afternoon to take stock of the situation.

Lieutenant Governor V.K. Saxena took stock of the situation and directed officials to set up an emergency control room and deploy static pumps to address waterlogging reports.

Chairing an emergency meeting, the L-G said that all senior officers on leave should be asked to report back to duty immediately and no leave should be sanctioned for the next two months, according to his office.

In a late night post on X, Mr. Saxena said, “Right since 7 in the morning, Hon’ble L-G kept speaking to RWAs, Village, UA Colonies & JJ Cluster Reps, MPs, MLAs, Councillors, Doctors, Lawyers, Diplomats etc.

“Trying to coordinate fastest possible relief. Calls had started flooding since early, with none else reponding.”

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has to close the entry and exit at Yashobhoomi Sector-25 in Dwarka.

Additionally, the shuttle service from Delhi Aerocity Metro station to Terminal 1 at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport was suspended. Minto Bridge was also closed for traffic movement after it was flooded.

BJP Councillor Ravinder Singh Negi rowed a boat on the waterlogged streets and said, “For the past month, we have been fighting to get the PWD drains cleaned, but the Delhi government did nothing. As a result, today, the entire city is flooded, and no arrangements have been made by the government.”

Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot wrote on X, “In view of heavy rains in Delhi, DTC teams have been deployed at all such places and underpasses where there is a possibility of waterlogging, so that Delhi government buses do not get stuck in the waterlogging.”

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