New Delhi, India —Rivers and canals swollen by monsoon rains spilled over their banks in the northern state of Punjab, killing at least 27 people and leaving some villages under 10 feet of water, authorities said Saturday.
The deaths brought to 82 the number of people killed in flash floods in northern India during the past week. Earlier, 32 people were reported killed in a building collapse caused by flash floods in northern Kashmir state.
Punjab officials said the torrential rains flooded six of the 18 districts and inundated villages.
In the district of Jalandhar, the most heavily hit area; 210 miles north of New Delhi, 14 people were killed, including two brothers who were washed away as they worked in the fields. Seven people died in neighboring Hoshiarpur district, one in a house collapse, another who touched a power line and the rest swept away by swirling waters. Authorities said.
Officials said most of the deaths occurred Friday but reports only began to trickle into the state capital of Chandigargh Saturday because of communications disruptions caused by the flooding.
“Scores of villages continue to reel under eight to 10 feet of flood water in Kapties. It added that motorboats were pressed into service to evacuate villagers in some areas.
In Jalandhar district, about 15 to 20 villages with a total population of 30,000 were inundated, according to officials who made an aerial survey.
Air Force helicopters were dropping packages of food to trapped villagers and the army was called to help with evacuations.
The floods also disrupted rail and road traffic throughout the state, and washed away at least six bridges.
Forecasters, who said more than an inch of rain fell in Chandigargh Friday, said more rain was likely throughout the state during the next 24 hours.
Article extracted from this publication >> July 26, 1985