Delhi’s heavy rains claim 11 lives amid record-breaking downpour

Delhi’s heavy rains claim 11 lives amid record-breaking downpour

The death toll from the abrupt heavy rains in the Indian capital has now reached 11, with hundreds more affected by the downpour.

New Delhi experienced record-breaking rainfall last week, with precipitation levels in a single day surpassing the city’s entire month’s average.

The Indian capital recorded over 228mm of rainfall on Friday, the highest for a single day in June since 1936.

The Indian Meteorological Department has issued an orange alert in the capital, with heavy rains predicted for Sunday and Monday.

“228 mm. That’s three times the month’s rainfall in just a few hours,” climate scientist Roxy Koll shared in a post on X.

“Warmer air holds more moisture for a longer time. So, it may not rain for several days but when it rains, it dumps a month’s or a season’s rain in a few hours,” Dr Koll said.

Heavy rainfall is also predicted for the next four to five days in the north Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The intense rainfall in Delhi has led to at least 11 deaths, including the death of a cab driver waiting for passengers due to a roof collapse at Delhi’s main airport.

At least one person was killed and eight others injured after a portion of the roof collapsed at Delhi’s international airport on Friday morning.

The accident occurred at terminal one of the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 5.30 am (1am BST) after heavy rains lashed India’s capital.

The officials said the roof sheet and the support beams at the departure area of the terminal collapsed, damaging the cars parked in the pick-up and drop area of the terminal.

Meanwhile, the eastern and northeastern states of West Bengal and Assam are also experiencing heavy rains, with the water level of the river Brahmaputra crossing the danger mark on Sunday, according to local news reports.

Videos shared on social media show cars being swept away in many parts of northern India, including in the pilgrimage town of Haridwar.

Among the 11 dead across Delhi were also four who drowned in flooded underpasses, and three who died due to a wall collapse, NDTV reported.

Severe monsoon weather has also caused disrupted flights and massive traffic jams.

However, it has also brought temperatures down by about five degrees after the capital was battered by weeks of intense heatwaves.

At least 60 flights were cancelled from the city’s main airport in the last 24 hours, according to the flight tracking platform FlightAware.

Flight operations reportedly returned to near-normal levels on Sunday, with most flights from the affected terminal diverted to the other two.

However, there may be further flight cancellations throughout the day, Reuters reported citing an airport official.

There have been massive traffic jams, as well as power and water outages in many parts of New Delhi.