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New Delhi Records Wettest July day in Decades as Deadly Floods Hit Northern India

Heavy rains brought deadly floods to northern India on the weekend as the country’s capital marked its wettest July day in more than 40 years, according to authorities and local reports.

The rains triggered flash floods and landslides, resulting in the deaths of at least 22 people, mostly in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, CNN affiliate CNN-News18 reported.

The Indian Meteorological Department said New Delhi received 153 millimeters (6 inches) of rain on Sunday, making it the city’s wettest July day since 1982.

On Sunday, the department issued red alerts, indicating the highest threat level, for the northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana. Landslide warnings were also issued for Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu asked residents Monday to stay home for the next 24 hours.

“I appeal to all to stay safe and stay inside their houses,” Sukhu told CNN-News18. “Schools and colleges have also been closed as there is no way to travel.”

Rescue efforts are ongoing for those caught in the floods throughout Himachal Pradesh. Early Monday, 27 people were rescued from a flooded hotel in Kullu district near the overflowing Beas River.

For the next five days, “isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall” is forecast for the northern regions of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh starting Monday, the Meteorological Department said Sunday.

The downpours forced school closures in a number of areas including Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi.

New Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the decision was made “in view of the torrential rains lashing Delhi since last 2 days and warnings from the Meteorological Department.”

Schools in Chandigarh have been advised to remain closed until Tuesday. The local education department said those that choose to stay open must “ensure the safety and security of the attending school children and staff.”

Southwest of Delhi, authorities in the satellite city of Gurugram ordered schools to close Monday due to the “significant rainfall” and concerns of floods, trees falling and other potential disruptions.

India is in the midst of monsoon season, which can last from April to September.

Last month, nearly half a million people in northeast India were affected by severe flooding after rain battered the region and cyclone Biparjoy hit the country’s west coast, turning roads into rivers and submerging entire villages.

The country has also been rocked by blistering heat waves this summer, highlighting how residents of the world’s most populous nation are among the most vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis.

Source : CNN