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UP flood toll rises to 108; situation still grim

Lucknow: With four more deaths, the toll mounted to 108 in the current wave of floods in Uttar Pradesh, where the overall situation remained grim, officials said on Friday.
"The death toll in the floods has reached 108 in the state, where 3,101 villages in 24 districts are inundated affecting a population of over 28 lakh," the relief commissioner's office said here citing a flood report compiled till on Thursday.
It said that around 3 lakh people have taken shelter in relief camps in the affected districts, mostly in eastern UP, where there was no let up in flood fury as raging waters of the rivers emanating from Nepal caused havoc in vast swathes of human habitation.
Reports reaching here said that Army choppers, NDRF and PAC (flood) jawans continued relief and rescue operations round the clock in the severely hit areas of the flood affected districts of the state.
Release of water in the rivers emanating from Nepal and incessant rains impeded rescue work and evacuation of people to safer areas, they said.
28 companies of NDRF, 30 companies of PAC (flood) along with two choppers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and several columns of the Army personnel were working round the clock to save lives and properties in the affected areas. A Central Water Commission report here said that the Sharda was flowing above the red mark at Palia Kalan and near the danger mark at Shardanagar while Ghaghra was flowing above the red mark at Turtipar (Ballia).
River Rapti was also flowing well above the red mark at Birdghat (Gorakhpur), it said.
Meanwhile, heavy overnight rains continued at most places across Uttarakhand on Friday, causing heavy waterlogging on roads here, traffic chaos at various points, and forcing closure of schools in Haridwar.
The worst traffic snarls were witnessed in the area around the inter-state bus terminus in Dehradun where even the pavements were submerged. Passengers coming in to the city were forced to wade through knee-deep water immediately after disembarking from their buses.
Dehradun received a maximum of 150.4 mm rainfall followed by Haldwani (145 mm), Jollygrant (111.2 mm), Haridwar (78.8 mm) and Rishikesh (58.2 mm), the Met office informed. The weatherman forecast similar conditions for the state over the next 48 hours with heavy to very heavy showers at isolated places in most of the plains.
Met office director Vikram Singh said the rains would continue with varying degrees and isolated places in most districts may even be lashed by heavy rains during the period, especially those located in the plains like Dehradun and Haridwar.
The Haridwar district administration has ordered the closure of schools for on Friday in view of the MeT department forecast.
Even the Chardham yatra has been affected with landslides triggered by showers blocking roads. While the roads to Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines have temporarily been cleared of debris falling from hillsides, the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway is still blocked at Lambagad between Joshimath and Badrinath.

Heavy rains lash HP; 3 of family die in landslides
Shimla: Heavy rains on Friday lashed several parts of Himachal Pradesh causing flash floods and triggering landslides, killing three persons, damaging houses and blocking roads.
Three persons were killed and two others were injured when their car was buried in a landslide in Bilaspur district's Gabrola area, a state official said, adding that they belonged to the same family.
Relief and rescue teams recovered the bodies with the help of local people. The injured people have been hospitalised.
The deceased are yet to be identified. The SDM, Harish Ganjoo, and the Bilaspur SP, Anjum Ara, are supervising the relief and rescue operations, the official said.
Heavy rains caused flash floods in Bagi Nallah in Mabdi district's Drang area, damaging three houses. No death has been reported from the area.
Landslides also blocked roads in the area, famous for the Parashar Lake. The Theog-Hatkoti National highway was also blocked by mudslides, stranding vehicles.
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