Tuesday, July 14, 2009
At least seven people have been killed after a bus they were travelling in was swept away by a flash flood in the Indian state of Orissa, police said.
The bus was crossing a small bridge in the Nayagarh district when the gushing waters engulfed it late on Monday, the police added.
A local official said rescuers were looking for 15 people who were missing following the incident.
There have been heavy monsoon rains in Orissa since Sunday.
Local official KC Jena told the Associated Press news agency that 20 people, who had been travelling in the bus, had been rescued from the Besalia river in Nayagarh, some 75 miles (120km) west of the state capital, Bhubaneshwar.
The official quoted passengers as saying that the driver of the passenger bus had ignored warnings from passengers not to cross the bridge
With the monsoon failing to pick up in Uttra Pradesh a worried state government has dispatched teams to the worst hit districts to assess the situation on the ground. With some districts receiving just about a fourth of normal rainfall which should have come by now, sources say that the state government may even consider declaring some areas as drought hit if the monsoon does not revive soon.
The Chief Secretary Atul K Gupta has convened a high level meeting on Tuesday to assess the monsoon situation.
Though most districts in the state did receive some rains in the last couple of days they were scanty and insufficient for the farmers accelerate cultivation.
The latest data shows that till last week UP had received 66% less than normal rainfall. The worst hit area remains to be the western part of the state with the region getting 77% less than normal rainfall. These figures indicate the monsoon has only weakened further as the weeks advance, belying the hopes of the weather department officials of a revival.
Though the MET department officials still say that the monsoon can revive in the coming days and cover the losses, farmers say that it is not only the quantum of the rain but its timing also which is important for their crops.
Delayed and poor rains are expected to result in paddy cultivation declining by about 8 lakh hectares to cover only 52 lakh hectares this season. Agriculture department officials estimate that paddy production would fall to 131 lakh metric tonnes from the earlier target of 135 lakh metric tonnes. Poor rains for the water intensive cultivation of paddy would also result in the crop yield going down.
Cane acreage, which has been declining, in the state for the last few years is again expected to be low especially with monsoon being worst hit in west-Uttar Pradesh, which has traditionally been a cane belt. Cane acreage is expected to be about 19 lakh hectares this season as compared to 21 lakh hectares last season leading to a decline in cane production to less than 1,000 lakh metric tonnes, according to official estimates.
The 14 days of non-stop monsoon rains have lashed Karwar town, caused quite a bit of erosion, and water logging eveywere.... The Clouds had descended over Karwar to personally see to it that Karwar recieved its fair share of Monsoons... A hydro-powered dam about 200 kms from Karwar recorded 25 feet deep water in just 9 days !! And other dams near Karwar have gone from Empty to Near Full withinthis period.... And thats why I couldnt post pictures here on my Blog !! :-)
For more visit:: http://karwar-daily-pic.blogspot.com/