Rains lash Andhra, Orange Alert in Delhi (Roundup)

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Two people were killed in lightening strike in Tripura on Wednesday as heavy rains lashed parts of Andhra Pradesh even as several other states in the country recorded scorching heat wave.

Torrential rains and heavy landslides hit rail services in southern Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram, officials said on Wednesday.

Heavy rain lashed parts of Andhra Pradesh as a depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified, the Met office said.

The mercury touched a scorching 46.4 degrees Celsius in Palam and Noida in the national capital region, while temperature crossed 40 degreee in some areas of Himachal Pradesh.

Basana Debbarma, 42, and Bipul Debbarma, 38, were killed at Champahour in western Tripura after they were struck by lighting in a paddy field, a police officer said. Six others were critically injured.

Rain accompanied by high velocity winds and lightning lashed Tripura on Wednesday, damaging crops and uprooting electricity poles and trees.

“Railway workers have been working round-the-clock to clear the debris in many places in southern Assam’s Dima Hasao district. The huge mudslides together with stones damaged large portion of railway tracks at Fidhing and other places and are being cleared,” a Northeast Frontier Railway official said.

He said it will take three-four days to clear the debris.

“We are expecting to restore rail service in the region by the week-end,” he said.

Due to heavy rains, huge landslides occurred in the Lumding-Badarpur hill section in southern Assam on Monday night

NFR chief public relations officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said four major trains running between Guwahati and Silchar, including the Silchar-Sealdah Kanchanjunga Express and the Silchar-New Delhi via Guwahati Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express, were cancelled till the mudslides were cleared.

Thousands of passengers bound for Guwahati and the rest of the country were stranded in southern Assam’s Badarpur, Silchar and Lumding areas due to disruption of rail services.

Nellore district in south coastal Andhra and Chittoor district of Rayalaseema region received heavy rains since early Wednesday, inundating low-lying areas and disrupting movement of vehicles in some areas.

The temple town of Tirupati also got heavy rains, causing inconvenience to devotees.

Shar, Sullurpeta and Tada in Nellore district received 15 cm rainfall since Tuesday night. Prakasam, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and other parts of coastal Andhra also received rains.

In Delhi, the temperature soared up to 43.7 degrees, three notches above the season’s average, said the Met office, declaring an ‘Orange Alert’ asking people to take precautions against the heat wave.

The IMD office said that it’s Palam observatory, one of the 50 observatories in the national capital, recorded 46.4 degrees on Wednesday. “The city has a record highest temperature with 47.2 degrees in 1994.”

“We advise people to stay cautious against the heat wave in Delhi. We are still gathering the latest data. We have declared an Orange Alert,” a Met official told IANS.

In Himachal, Una town, adjoining Punjab, was the hottest at 43.2 degrees.

Meanwhile, a depression over southwest Bay of Bengal intensified into a deep depression, making weatherman forecast rain and thundershowers over the next 24 to 48 hours.

The weatherman in Kolkata said thundersqualls are likely to hit the Gangetic West Bengal over the next two days owing to cyclone forecast off the Andhra Pradesh coast.

The IMD said the depression over southwest Bay of Bengal moved north-northeastward at a speed of 10 kmph during the past six hours, intensified into a deep depression and lay centred over west-central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal on Wednesday morning, about 170 km south-southeast of Nellore.

A Chennai report said heavy rains will continue in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 24 hours.

A few places in south Odisha and one or two areas over north Odisha are likely to experience thundershowers, a Bhubaneswar report said quoting the India Meteorological Department.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea. Storm warning of Distant Cautionary Signal No.1 (DC-I) was hoisted at Paradip and Gopalpur ports in Odisha.

–IANS

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