India Floods Strike Himalaya Foothills

Published June 17, 2013

| AccuWeather

Unusually early season heavy rains have unleashed catastrophic flooding along the Himalayan foothills of northern India.

At least 23 people have died and a further 50 people were missing, the AP website said on Monday.

The mountain state of Uttarakhand bore the brunt of the devastating floods, which washed away buildings and roads, triggering landslides. Video captured the scenes of buildings collapsing into raging torrents, washing away.

More than 10,000 religious pilgrims were stranded on a mountain road after slides blocked their path. Evacuations were undertaken by helicopter, the AP said.

Upper reaches of the Ganga (Ganges) and Yamuna rivers swelled into flood by the heavy runoff, the TImes of India website said.

Rainfall was at least 25.7 inches since Saturday at Dehradun in southern Uttarakhand, weather data available to AccuWeather.com showed.

Elsewhere in India, torrential rain pounded wide areas of the north and west, between Friday and Monday.

Forecasters in Mumbai warned of "extreme" rain and the likelihood for continued flooding on Monday, the Times said. One site in the city, Santa Cruz, had rainfall of at least 13.6 inches, meteorological observations indicated.

Cloudbursts that struck the capital region of New Delhi triggered street flooding, transportation cuts and power outages, the Times said.

The onset of the rainy summer monsoon was unusually early over northern India and neighboring Pakistan. By the 16th of June, all of India was within the fold of the southwest monsoon, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The last time this happened was in 1961, the Times said.

Monsoon onset was about two weeks earlier than average in New Delhi and up to four weeks ahead of schedule along parts of the India-Pakistan border.

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