NEW DELHI (DPA) - The death toll from torrential monsoon rains in northern India climbed to 38 on Monday (Aug 19), as the national capital New Delhi issued a flood alert and ordered evacuations of thousands of people.
Eighteen people had died in the northern mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh in landslides and wall collapses on Sunday (Aug 18).
"The toll rose to 25 on Monday, along with an alert in five districts where all schools were closed. Two more people are still missing," a disaster management official, Mr Praveen Bhardwaj, said by phone from state capital Shimla.
Ten more people were confirmed to have died in a flash flood in a local river in neighbouring Uttarakhand state, also in the Himalaya mountains. Twelve were missing, state officials added.
Three more people died in rain-related accidents in Punjab, another northern state, broadcaster New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) reported.
In New Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warned that the Yamuna river was flowing around the danger level and 28,000 living in low-lying areas needed to evacuate their homes immediately.
"We appeal to people in the floodplains to move to safer places. We have also sent our teams to evacuate all these people," Kejriwal said.
India's monsoon season from June to September brings rains that support the livelihood of farmers, but can bring death and destruction.
The death toll from rain-related incidents across the country from June to August 15 had reached 1,058 in India's nine worst-affected states, according to federal Home Ministry data.
More than 18 million people have been affected by the floods across vast swathes of the country.