South Asia

Flood fears in Delhi as Yamuna river overflows

An over-flowing Yamuna in Delhi on 10 September 2010
Image caption Many Delhi areas have been inundated

Thousands of people have been evacuated from low-lying areas near the Yamuna river in the Indian capital, Delhi.

The city is battling renewed flood fears as water levels in the Yamuna have crossed the danger mark.

Incessant rainfall and release of water from the Hathnikund barrage upstream in Haryana state have raised the level of the river, officials say.

In late August too, the river touched the danger mark after days of heavy rain, flooding low-lying areas.

The city is due to host the Commonwealth Games in a little over three weeks.

Monsoon rains and rising water levels have also raised fears of a dengue fever epidemic in the city.

There is particular concern as dengue fever-carrying mosquitoes are breeding in a swamp near the Commonwealth Games Village where visiting athletes and officials will be put up.

Officials say Haryana has released nearly 900,000 cubic feet per second (25.5 million litres per second) of water through the Hathnikund barrage in the last three days after heavy rainfall in the northern state of Uttarakhand.

Flood waters have entered populated areas and inundated many areas around Delhi.

People living by the riverbank said they had suffered losses to livestock and property.

"We are very worried about the losses. We have lost our cows and property. Everywhere things have been destroyed. These are hard times for us," news agency Reuters quoted resident Ombir Singh as saying.

The Yamuna river normally runs alongside the Indian capital at a trickle, but currently appears ready to burst its banks.

The government has set up several relief camps to accommodate those who live in areas near the river.

More than 70 boats and dozens of divers are deployed at the low-lying areas for rescue operations and officials say there is no cause for alarm.

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