Twenty-three people were killed in rain-related incidents in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh as heavy showers wreaked havoc in the hill states even as humid conditions prevailed in most parts of north India on Friday.
Seventeen people were killed in separate incidents of cloudburst, house collapse and landslips in Pauri, Dehradun and Pithoragarh districts of Uttarakhand, while six people died in Himachal Pradesh.
The heavy rains in Uttarakhand, including in the state capital, flooded several roads cutting off nearly 250 residents of a village in Pauri district from the rest of the state and brought the water level in Ganga just half a metre down the danger mark at 340 metres at Ram Jhula in Rishikesh.
Fourteen casualties occurred in Pauri, two persons died in a landslip in Kishanpur area on the outskirts of Dehradun and one drowned in an overflowing rain-fed stream in Pithoragarh district, officials said.
While Dehradun recorded a maximum 120 mm of rainfall, Rispana, Bindal and Jakhan rivers were in spate.
In Himachal Pradesh, incessant heavy monsoon rains, mostly in parts of Hamirpur and Una, disrupted normal life leaving behind a trail of destruction.
Four members of family including two minors were swept away by swirling waters of Kuhana Khud in Hamirpur, while another was buried in a landslide. Police also recovered the body of an unidentified youth.
A two-and-a-half-year old girl went missing after she washed away by a swollen rivulet in Sainre village.
The rains triggered landslides at various places and over 200 roads were blocked due to it along with road breaches.
Bangana in Una district was wettest in the region as it recorded 160 mm of rains.
Meanwhile, pleasant winds added to the festive mood in Delhi on Independence Day as the national flag at the ramparts of the Red Fort fluttered in full glory.
With temperature remaining at comfortable levels, people thronged public places like Connaught Place and the India Gate lawns to celebrate the country's 68th Independence Day.
The humidity hovered between 71 and 53 per cent.
Image used for representational purposes only