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Lightning Strikes Kill 5 in Bengal, Assam Flood Situation Remains Critical

In houses submerged in Morigaon district, humans and cattle take shelter together. (Photo: Biju Boro)

In houses submerged in Morigaon district, humans and cattle take shelter together. (Photo: Biju Boro)

The India Meteorological Department predicted widespread rainfall with heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places in the national capital and its neighbouring areas over the next two days.

Five people were killed and 27 others injured in lightning strikes in West Bengal's Jhargram district on Monday as several places across the country received rains.

The India Meteorological Department predicted widespread rainfall with heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places in the national capital and its neighbouring areas over the next two days.

"Fairly widespread to widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy showers very likely over Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh during the next two days," it said in a weather forecast.

The rainfall intensity and distribution are very likely to decrease significantly thereafter, the IMD said.

The flood situation in Assam remained critical with one more person losing his life in the deluge, in which over 24 lakh people were affected in 24 districts of the state, according to an official bulletin.

The deluge has affected over 4.59 lakh people in Goalpara, which is the worst-hit district in Assam, followed by 3.37 lakh in Barpeta and around 3.35 lakh in Morigaon.

The death of a person at Sonapur near Guwahati in Kamrup Metropolitan district on Monday pushed the toll from flood and landslide to 111 across the state. Of the total, 85 people were killed in flood-related incidents and 26 died due to landslides.

Sporadic light rains and cloudy weather during the day kept the mercury in check in the national capital.

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for the city, recorded a maximum of 32.6 degrees Celsius, two notches below the normal.

The mercury oscillated between 30 degrees Celsius and 33 degrees Celsius in most parts of Delhi.

The convergence of moist easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal and southwesterly winds from the Arabian Sea is likely to continue over northwest India for another two-three days, weather experts said.

The monsoon though is also running through the region. These two factors together can lead to moderate to heavy rains in Delhi-NCR in the next 24 hours, they said.

A family of three was killed and six others injured as a cloudburst hit two adjacent villages in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district on Monday.

Eleven people, washed away in a swollen rivulet, are also reported missing, according to officials.

Himachal Pradesh received widespread rainfall in the past 24 hours, with Dharamshala recording 62 mm rain.

Manali received 28 mm rainfall followed by Naina Devi 26 mm, Nahan 23 mm, Sangrah 15 mm and Palampur 17 mm, the weather office said.

Moderate rains along with thundershowers occurred at many places in Uttar Pradesh on Monday. Heavy to very heavy rain occurred at isolated places over eastern parts of the state. Thunderstorm accompanied with lightning occurred at isolated places in the state.

Several parts of West Bengal's Jhargram district witnessed lightning strikes, which claimed five lives, accompanied by heavy rain in the afternoon. The maximum temperatures hovered below normal limits after showers in parts of Haryana and Punjab on Monday.

Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, received light rains and recorded a maximum of 32.9 degrees Celsius, one notch below the normal. In Haryana, Hisar, which received 9 mm of rain, recorded a high of 34 degrees Celsius, two notches below the normal.

Karnal, which received light rains, recorded a high of 32 degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal limits. Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala in Punjab also received showers and the maximum temperatures settled a notch each below the normal at 33, 32.5 and 33.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.