Delhi’s monsoon rains overflow the Yamuna River forcing people to flee and halting life.

Delhi's monsoon rains overflow the Yamuna River forcing people to flee and halting life.

Delhi’s monsoon rains overflow the Yamuna River forcing people to flee and halting life. Authorities in the capital region of India evacuated thousands of people. They ordered all schools and colleges to remain closed until Sunday after a major river running through Delhi overflowed its banks on Wednesday night, flooding homes and major roadways. People were urged to stay indoors and work from home, if possible, as the inundation threatened to inundate more of the 30-million-person city.

Numerous rivers in northern India have overflowed over the past week due to record monsoon rainfall. As of Thursday, almost 100 fatalities were attributed to house collapses, landslides, and flash floods triggered by the monsoon in the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh.

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The 2.5 million daily users of the Delhi subway system had some sections shut down, which increased the pressure on the waterlogged roads and caused severe traffic jams. Multiple important routes were completely flooded.

Local television stations aired footage of people attempting to reach higher ground through flooded streets in several low-lying areas that the Yamuna River had inundated.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who ordered the emergency measures, stated on Thursday that the water level was rising “very quickly” and urged residents to remain indoors “as much as possible.”

His administration stated that it had prepared over 2,000 sanctuaries for flood-displaced individuals. By Thursday afternoon, approximately 16,000 residents had been evacuated from low-lying areas of the city.

The Yamuna reached its highest level in 45 years Thursday afternoon, surpassing the previous record of 681 feet set in 1978. On Wednesday, authorities discharged additional water into the Yamuna to relieve pressure on a dam in the neighboring state of Haryana. Even though it hadn’t rained severely in Delhi for a couple of days, this resulted in record water levels in the capital.

As three water treatment facilities in the city were flooded, it was feared that the sprawling Indian capital could experience a drinking water shortage in the coming days. The three facilities provide approximately one-fourth of the city’s population with potable water.

From June to September, Delhi and many other main cities in India frequently experience flooding during the rainy season. While destructive, monsoon rainfall has long been a vital source of water for agriculture and drinking in the region.  

Many residents of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and other large cities have blamed mismanagement and inadequate drainage systems for the recurring flooding.

Despite recent improvements, this year’s monsoon in Delhi set a record. Last Saturday, the capital received six inches of rain on a single day for the first time in forty years.

According to scientists, global warming and climate change are increasing the frequency, intensity, and unpredictability of extreme weather events such as floods, cyclones, and heat waves in India.

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