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Monsoon arrives in Delhi bringing heavy rainfall leaving four deaths



Monsoon arrives in Delhi bringing heavy rainfall leaving four deaths

Four people died and several were injured as the south-west monsoon arrived in the national capital bringing with it 228 mm of rainfall in a span of 24 hours, mostly concentrated between 3 a.m. and 8.30 a.m., on Friday. This is the highest rainfall in a 24-hour period in Delhi in June after 1936, while the average rainfall for June in the last 30 years is 75.2 mm.

The deluge left several arterial roads waterlogged causing traffic jams and affected several low-lying areas. It lead to the closure of several underpasses, including the recently-constructed Pragati Maidan tunnel, the road under Minto Bridge, ITO railway crossing, and Moolchand underpass. Several colony roads were also left inundated with water filling the basements and flowing into the ground floor. As a precautional measure, large parts of the capital were left without power to prevent incidents of electrocution.

The capital’s infrastructure was put to the test after one cab driver was killed and eight people were injured as a canopy at the old departure forecourt of the Delhi airport’s Terminal-1 partially collapsed around 5 a.m. After the incident, all flight operations from Terminal-1 were suspended till further notice.

Boys drown

Two children — aged 8 and 10, both residents of New Usmanpur in northeast Delhi — drowned in a rainwater pool of 5 feet depth in Khadar area of New Usmanpur, police said.

Police said the two boys were playing and went for swimming in the pool, but they drowned as the water was deep.

According to DCP (Southwest) Rohit Meena, three labourers in Vasant Vihar were trapped in muddy waters and are yet to be rescued. “Our rescue operation is still on as the water is really muddy. We have not been able to recover the trapped men. The men are feared dead but it cannot be confirmed,” he said. Another person in north-west Delhi died after being electrocuted.

Political blame-game

The waterlogged city led to a political war of words with the BJP and Congress attacking the AAP for not finishing desilting works before the arrival of the monsoon and the AAP blaming the Centre for the canopy collapse at the Delhi airport.

Delhi Water Minister Atishi said Delhi receives around 800 mm of rainfall during the monsoon season and 25% of the rainfall has occurred in the last 24 hours alone due to which water started flowing out of drains causing waterlogging in many places.

“Water started draining immediately after the rain stopped. We had to cut power to ensure that there is no electrocution. We had an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation and a 24×7 control room has been set up at the PWD headquarters to monitor the situation and deploy pumps wherever required,” Ms. Atishi said. Urban Development Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that Delhi Jal Board has been asked to ensure that all sewers are unclogged as a lot of silt has flown into them.

The Met department has forecast heavy rain in the capital between June 20 and July 1. The forecast for June 29 reads “generally cloudy sky with moderate to heavy rain/thunderstorm accompanied by gusty winds”. The monsoon arrived in Delhi on time this year bringing relief from a gruelling summer that not only recorded maximum temperatures close to 50 degrees Celsius in parts of the city in May but also the highest minimum temperature of 35.2 degrees Celsius in June according to data with the MeT department between 1969 and 2024.

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