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Rain fury in MP: Death toll reaches 12; IMD issues alert for 23 districts

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BHOPAL: Twelve people have died and seven injured in various rain-related incidents in flood-ravaged Gwalior and Chambal divisions of Madhya Pradesh, officials said on Thursday, even as the IMD sounded a fresh heavy rain alert for 23 districts.

The rainfall in Gwalior and Chambal divisions in north MP has now abated, rescue operations have ended and relief operations have begun, officials said.

The region was being pounded by rains since Sunday.

"Twelve rain-related deaths had been reported till yesterday. No death was reported today," said divisional commissioner Ashish Saxena, speaking to PTI over phone.

Some deaths took place in the incidents of house or wall collapse, and in some cases carelessness cost people their lives, he said.

A man drowned while watching a river in flood while some others were swept away while crossing flooded bridges, Saxena said.

Three people were rescued on Thursday in Bhind by choppers, while aircraft dropped food packets and other emergency aid material in the worst-hit Sheopur and Datia districts, the commissioner said.

"Seven people have been injured -- four in Guna, two in Shivpuri and one in Morena," state revenue secretary Gyaneshwar B Patil told PTI.

Rescue operations have almost ended, he added.

As many as 30,790 people were evacuated to safer places in Gwalior and Chambal divisions and around 6,000 people were staying in 126 relief camps, Patil said.

As many as 287 cattle perished -- 125 in Sheopur, 76 in Shivpuri, 75 in Datia, nine in Guna and two in Morena.

18,304 houses were damaged, including 15,000 in Sheopur, 2,124 in Datia, 672 in Shivpuri, 456 in Guna and 52 in Ashok Nagar, he said.

Four big bridges and 21 medium bridges were damaged in Sheopur and Datia.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday toured the flood-affected areas of Gwalior, Datia and Shivpuri districts.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday evening issued an `orange' alert forecasting `heavy to very heavy' rainfall in the districts of Rajgarh, Shajapur, Agar-Malwa, Mandsaur, Guna and Ashok Nagar.

A yellow alert forecast of `heavy rain' was issued for Sheopur, Morena, Bhind, Neemuch, Shivpuri, Gwalior, Datia, Vidisha, Raisen, Sehore, Hoshangabad, Dhar, Dewas, Narsinghpur, Tikamgarh, Niwari and Sagar.

Both the alerts are valid till Friday morning, said P K Saha, senior meteorologist, IMD, Bhopal.

Gwalior and Chambal divisions comprise the districts of Gwalior, Shivpuri, Guna, Ashok Nagar, Datia, Sheopur, Morena and Bhind in north Madhya Pradesh.

"The state has not seen such devastation in the last 70 years that the rain-ravaged Gwalior-Chambal region is facing. Bridges near the Ratangarh Mata Temple and Sankua in the area were damaged and many people got stranded," a state official quoted chief minister Chouhan as saying during a meeting earlier in the day.

Chouhan spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the morning.

The prime minister assured all possible help to the state, officials said.

The CM also spoke with Union Home Minister Amit Shah who said the Centre will send an advance team to assess the damage, officials said.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also called Chouhan to enquire about the flood situation.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

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