By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
NEW DELHI (Worthy News) – Heavy rains that caused flooding and landslides left a trail of destruction across northern India, killing at least 23 people, officials said Monday.
Schools in New Delhi were closed after weekend rains lashed the national capital over the weekend, and authorities in the Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand asked people not to leave their homes unless necessary.
Most died in floods and landslides in the northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Punjab on Sunday, the Times of India newspaper reported.
Before the latest torrential rains, dozens of people were already killed in Himachal Pradesh since the monsoon season began in June, authorities said.
In the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, flash floods over the weekend brought down a bridge and swept away several hutments, footage showed.
Authorities used helicopters to rescue people stranded on roads and bridges because of the rain.
Torrential rain continued to lash many states on Monday afternoon, including the capital region of Delhi, where roads in several areas were submerged in knee-deep water. Delhi court hearings had to be suspended or shifted online, away from flooded courthouses.
There were concerns that more heavy rains would hit the region. Already Delhi, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh reportedly received 112 percent, 100 percent, and 70 percent more rainfall than average in the current monsoon season that started on June 1.
“Please stay inside your homes because more heavy rain is expected in the next 24 hours,” Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said in an appeal on social media late Sunday.
Several districts in Himachal Pradesh received a month’s rainfall in a day at the weekend, officials said.
In recent years, India has often experienced extreme weather patterns, including record heat waves and heavy floods in monsoon season, experts said.
Ordinary residents increasingly struggle for their livelihoods while farmers complain about the devastating effect on crops saying rains become more unpredictable and damaging.