Heavy rains brought deadly floods to northern India on the weekend as the country’s capital marked its wettest July day in more than 40 years, according to official reports.
The rains triggered flash floods and landslides, resulting in the deaths of at least 24 people, mostly in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, according to media reports.
The Indian Meteorological Department said New Delhi received 153 millimetres (6 inches) of rain on Sunday, making it the city’s wettest July day since 1982.
On Sunday, the department issued red alerts, indicating the highest threat level, for the northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana. Landslide warnings were also issued for Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh during that time.
Rescue efforts are underway for those caught in the floods throughout Himachal Pradesh. Early Monday, 27 people were rescued from a flooded hotel in Kullu district near the overflowing Beas River.
For the next five days, “isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall” is forecast for the northern regions of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh starting Monday, said the Meteorological Department on Sunday. The downpours forced shsut down of schools in a number of areas including Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi.
New Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the decision was taken “in view of the torrential rains lashing Delhi since last 2 days and warnings from the Meteorological Department.”
The authorities have advised to shut down schools in Chandigarh until Tuesday. The local education department said those that choose to stay open must “ensure the safety and security of the attending school children and staff.”
Southwest of Delhi, authorities in the satellite city of Gurugram ordered schools to close Monday due to the “significant rainfall” and concerns of floods, trees falling and other potential disruptions. India is in the midst of monsoon season, which can last from April to September.