Yamuna River Swells Further In Delhi, Likely To Touch 206-Metre Mark. Evacuation Continues

New Delhi: The swollen Yamuna in the national capital on Saturday morning continued to flow above the danger mark of 205.33 metres as efforts to evacuate people from vulnerable areas are being intensified.

The flood control room stated the water level reached 205.99 metres at 5 am, news agency PTI reported. The river had breached the danger mark of 205.33 metres around 4 pm on Friday following heavy rain in upper catchment areas. Following this, authorities began evacuating people from low-lying areas.

According to a forecast, the water level was likely to touch the 206-metre mark around 5 pm and remain stable thereafter.

East Delhi District Magistrate Anil Banka informed that around 2,300 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in his district and shifted to safer places till Friday night. Evacuation efforts will be intensified on Saturday, he said, as per PTI.

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An official mentioned that a flood alert is declared in Delhi when the discharge rate from the Hathnikund Barrage in Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar crosses the 1 lakh-cusecs mark. People living near the floodplains and in flood-prone areas are evacuated then, he mentioned.

On Thursday, the flood control department advised all sector officers to keep a vigil in their respective areas. He directed them to take necessary action at vulnerable points and deploy required quick-reaction teams to warn people residing within river embankments.

Thirty-four boats and mobile pumps have been deployed in low-lying areas.

“Around 37,000 people who live in Yamuna floodplains and low-lying areas in Delhi are considered vulnerable to flooding. A flood control plan has been with all departments concerned,” the East Delhi District Magistrate said, as quoted by PTI.

People evacuated from low-lying areas in the floodplains have been shifted to temporary structures like tents and permanent buildings like schools in safer areas.

According to PTI, the Delhi flood control room reported a discharge rate of around 17,000 cusecs from the Hathnikund Barrage at 6 am. It was 1.49 lakh cusecs at 1 am on Saturday and 2.21 lakh cusec at 3 pm on Thursday.

One cusec is equivalent to 28.32 litres per second.

Normally, the flow rate at the Hathnikund barrage is 352 cusecs, but the discharge increases after heavy rainfall in the catchment areas. The water discharged from the barrage normally takes two to three days to reach the national capital.

The India Meteorological Department had stated that “widespread rainfall with isolated heavy rain” is likely in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana on August 14 and 15.

Last year, the Yamuna river breached the danger mark on July 30 and the water level at the Old Railway Bridge had risen to 205.59 metres.

In 2019, the flow rate had peaked at 8.28 lakh cusec on August 18-19, and the water level of the Yamuna had hit the 206.60-metre mark.

In 1978, the river had swelled to the all-time record water level of 207.49 metres. In 2013, it had risen to 207.32 metres.

(With Agency Reports)