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Yamuna Continues to Flow Above Danger Mark in Delhi, Evacuation Efforts Intensified

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: August 13, 2022, 09:28 IST

New Delhi, India

A woman washes clothes in the Yamuna river as another sits near the river's water level indicator, in New Delhi, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)

A woman washes clothes in the Yamuna river as another sits near the river's water level indicator, in New Delhi, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)

The Delhi flood control room said the water level reached 205.38 metres at 4 pm on Friday

The water level in the Yamuna continued to flow above the danger mark of 205.33 metres in Delhi on Saturday morning and efforts to evacuate people from vulnerable areas are being intensified, officials said.

A forecast said the water level is likely to touch the 206-metre mark around 5 pm and remain stable thereafter. East Delhi District Magistrate Anil Banka said around 2,300 people had been evacuated from low-lying areas in his district and shifted to safer places till Friday night. Evacuation efforts will be intensified on Saturday, he said.

People evacuated from low-lying areas in the floodplains are being shifted to temporary structures like tents and permanent buildings like schools in safer areas.

The water level of the Yamuna river had crossed the danger mark of 205.33 metres in Delhi on Friday following heavy rain in upper catchment areas and discharge from Hathnikund barrage in neighbouring Haryana on Thursday. Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena said the administration is taking necessary steps and urged people to take precautions.

“Due to heavy rains in the catchment area of Yamuna, the water released from Hathnikund is likely to reach Delhi this evening. The river may cross the danger mark. The administration is taking necessary steps to ensure security. I appeal to Delhiites not to enter Yamuna and take precautions,” he said in a tweet.

Authorities are planning strategies for evacuating people from low-lying areas while the Delhi flood control room said the water level reached 205.38 metres at 4 pm on Friday. It had issued a warning on Thursday night.

“We will first put restriction on the speed of trains at old Yamuna bridge. This is our protocol. We will further decide accordingly,” officials told News18.

According to the flood control room, the water level at the Old Railway Bridge rose from 203.86 metres at Friday 8 am to 205.29 metres by 3 pm. A flood alert is declared in Delhi when the discharge rate from the Hathnikund Barrage in Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar crosses the 1 lakh-cusecs mark. People living near the floodplains and in flood-prone areas are evacuated then, an official said.

The central control room of the irrigation and flood control department issued its first warning on Thursday after it reported a discharge rate of around 2.21 lakh cusecs from the Hathnikund Barrage at 3 pm on Thursday and 1.55 lakh cusecs at midnight. It was 97,460 cusecs at 6 am.

One cusec is equivalent to 28.32 litres per second. Normally, the flow rate at the Hathnikund barrage is 352 cusecs, but the discharge increases after heavy rainfall in the catchment areas. The water discharged from the barrage normally takes two to three days to reach the national capital.

It advised all sector officers to keep a vigil in their respective areas and take necessary action at vulnerable points by deploying the requisite number of quick-reaction teams to warn people residing within river embankments. Thirty-four boats and mobile pumps have been deployed in anticipation of floods in low-lying areas.

East Delhi District Magistrate Anil Banka said, “Around 37,000 people who live in Yamuna-floodplains and low-lying areas in Delhi are considered vulnerable to flooding. We have shared a flood control plan with all departments concerned.”

“We have been making announcements urging people to shift to safer areas. Evacuation efforts will start if the water level crosses the 206-metre mark. It may happen this evening or tomorrow morning.” The people will be shifted to temporary structures like tents and permanent buildings like schools in safer areas,” Banka said. The Delhi flood control room reported

Weather Update

According to the India Meteorological Department, heavy to very heavy rainfall occurred at a few places in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday. “Widespread rainfall with isolated heavy rain is likely in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana on August 14 and 15,” it said.

Last year, the Yamuna river breached the danger mark on July 30 and the water level at the Old Railway Bridge had risen to 205.59 metres. In 2019, the flow rate had peaked at 8.28 lakh cusec on August 18-19, and the water level of the Yamuna had hit the 206.60-metre mark. The Delhi government had to launch evacuation and relief operations after the overflowing river submerged many low-lying areas. In 1978, the river had swelled to the all-time record water level of 207.49 metres. In 2013, it had risen to 207.32 metres.

(With PTI inputs)

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first published:August 13, 2022, 09:28 IST
last updated:August 13, 2022, 09:28 IST