The Narmada river is flowing above the danger mark at many places ahead of Harda district
The Narmada river is flowing above the danger mark at many places ahead of Harda district

At least six children were killed in Madhya Pradesh where torrential rains over the last two days triggered flooding in several districts while more than 6,500 people from 394 villages in nine districts were evacuated to safer places on Saturday.

Nine districts in the state have been receiving heavy rains, leading to rise in the water levels, officials said.

Teams of the Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are roped in in worst-hit Hoshangabad from where 3,500 people have been evacuated to safety in the day.

More than 10,000 people are still stranded in the district where the situation is worsening fast due to rise in water levels of the Narmada river, a senior official said.

Five people who were stranded in Chhindwara were evacuated by an Air Force chopper, officials said.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan conducted an aerial survey of the inundated areas of Hoshangabad and Sehore districts and the hailstorm-hit parts along the Narmada river for one-and-a-half hours, officials said.

The CM said one Madhu Kahar was stranded in water at Chourai area has been airlifted.

The CM said boats and other rescue equipment are in place.

"Five people were rescued from an inundated place in Chhindwara district by an Air Force helicopter," said Manish Rastogi, the principal secretary to the chief minister.

Meanwhile, one more persons still remains stuck on a tree in the district, he said.

"We are in touch with the stranded person and are trying to rescue him," said Rastogi, who is also revenue Commissioner.

He said two Air Force choppers will join a rescue operation in Sehore district.

Rastogi said two columns of the Army comprising 70 personnel each will help the administration in evacuation at Hoshangabad and Raisen districts.

The Narmada river is flowing above the danger mark at many places ahead of Harda district.

He said over 6,500 people from 394 villages in nine districts have been evacuated to safer places in the last 12 to 15 hours.

Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Rajesh Rajora said the administration has been doing its best to evacuate stranded people.

Hoshangabad received 429 mm rainfall in the last 33 hours ending 5.30 PM Saturday.

In the same period, the Chhindwara and Narsinghpur received 262 mm and 216 mm rainfall, respectively, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Hoshangabad divisional commissioner Rajnish Shrivastava told PTI that the Army has been called in to help the district administration to effectively deal with the flood situation.

He said more than 10,000 people are still stranded in the district and that the situation is worsening fast as the water level in the Narmada river is on the rise.

He said no casualty had taken place in Hoshangabad.

Shrivastava said water from Bargi dam on the Narmada river in Jabalpur will reach Hoshangabad tomorrow which could exacerbate the situation.

"Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have already reached and started helping the Hoshangabad district administration. The Army is likely to reach shortly," he added.

"Following heavy rains, the water level of the Narmada river in Hoshangabad district has gone above 978 metres as against the primary danger level of 964 metres. Many areas in Hoshangabad city were flooded with up to six to eight feet of water," he added.

"The rural areas in the district are also facing a similar situation, which is why we had to call the Army," he added.

Four of the total six casualties in the state occurred when a mud wall of a house collapsed on them while they were playing on the road at Banahra village in Katni district, sub-divisional officer of Katni Sapna Tripathi said.

Two more deaths were reported in Parei village under Gaurihar police station of Chhatarpur district, where two girls, aged nine and 14 years, drowned in an inundated field.

Due to the downpour, sluice gates of several dams have been opened to release water, officials said.

12 of the 20 sluice gates of the Indirasagar dam, the biggest dam in Madhya Pradesh locatged in Khandwa district, have been opened, said state Water Resources department executive engineer Kamlesh Raikwar.

He said as gates of almost all reservoirs built on the Narmada river have been opened, the water might gush downstream into the Sardar Sarovar dam in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, the IMD issued a red alert of extremely heavy rainfall with thunderstorm and lightning at isolated places of Chhindwara, Vidisha, Sehore, Rajgarh and Shajapur districts.

It also issued an orange alert warning that very heavy rainfall and thunderstorm with lightning is likely at isolated places of 17 districts, including Bhopal and Indore besides Hoshangabad division.

Its yellow alert said that heavy rainfall is likely at a few places in four districts including Guna and Shivpuri.

These alerts are valid till Sunday morning.

Referring to the weather situation, CM Chouhan said that another crisis has hit the state which is already battling the COVID-19 outbreak.

"In a big part of MP, especially in Jabalpur, Hoshangabad and Bhopal divisions, flood-like situation has arisen in many cities and villages," he said in a video message to people.

"The water levels have risen as the Narmada river and its tributaries are in spate and water from dams being released," the CM said.

He asked people to move to government's relief centres from low-lying areas.

"Don't worry, all care is being taken. The Army, the Air Force has been alerted," he said.

As per the IMD, Madhya Pradesh has so far received over 10 per cent above normal rainfall.

Meanwhile, IMD meteorologist J P Vishwakarma said in Bhopal that the low-pressure area over MP causing heavy rainfall is moving towards North west, and is likely to advance to Rajasthan by Sunday.

Rain is expected to abate by Sunday evening, he said.

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