Shimla: The recent devastating photographs and videos depicting collapsed houses, temples, and roads in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have caused immense distress among those whose loved ones are stranded in these Himalayan states. Tragically, more bodies of landslide victims are being discovered from the rubble, even as a renewed period of heavy rainfall threatens to worsen the situation in these helpless regions this week.

While the monsoon trough has now moved southwards to its anticipated normal position, a new weather factor has emerged as a western disturbance. These disturbances originate from the Caspian or Mediterranean Sea and bring non-monsoonal rainfall to northwest India. This system is currently acting as a trough and is expected to remain active for several days.

Consequently, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued forecasts for moderate to widespread showers, thunderstorms, and lightning, with the potential for isolated heavy rains (64.5 mm-115.5 mm) in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand until Friday, August 25. Similar weather patterns are anticipated in West Uttar Pradesh until Wednesday, August 23, and in East Uttar Pradesh from Tuesday to Friday, August 22-25. The IMD has released rainfall alerts for these states for the week ahead, urging local residents to remain cautious of adverse weather conditions. An orange alert indicating the need to “be prepared” has been issued for Uttarakhand starting today. West Uttar Pradesh will receive the orange alert on Tuesday, followed by Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There is also a risk of flash floods and inundation in low-lying areas of Uttarakhand within the next 24 hours. In another incident, ten individuals, comprising five forest department officials and five locals, found themselves stranded in a boat at Himachal’s Kol Dam reservoir due to rapidly rising water levels triggered by continuous rainfall on Sunday evening. Thankfully, the combined efforts of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local administration teams successfully rescued them today after a night-long operation.

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