The southwest monsoon on Saturday picked up strength in North India where many areas received moderate to heavy showers even as rains continued to pound Kerala and Gujarat throwing normal life out of gear.
Rain gods smiled on Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and some other places in the northern belt, which had witnessed only patchy rainfall since the advent of the monsoon late June.
The monsoon remained vigorous in Kerala and Gujarat with incessant rains flooding low-lying areas, triggering landslips and extensively damaging standing crops.
Rain fury had claimed 28 lives so far in Kerala where landslides were reported from Kannur and Kozhikode districts hitting road traffic.
Heavy rains pelted Gujarat where 400 people were evacuated to safer places in Jamnagar district's Lalpur area as water level of major rivers in the state rose perilously.
Mud houses collapsed and shanties were washed away in flash floods in Jamnagar, which received 532 mm of rains since on Friday evening.
In the northern region where the monsoon had been subdued and erratic since its arrival, heavy rains lashed Punjab and Haryana on Saturday.
Rajasthan, where Ganganagar was the hottest at 40.6degree Celsius, too received widespread rains as the weather remained pleasant in hill state Himachal Pradesh thanks to continuous rains.
Though rains drenched many places in Punjab and Haryana, denizens continued to sweat with humidity levels oscillating between 70 and 85per cent.
Phagwara received 98 mm of rains, Ranjeet Sagar Dam 56.2 mm, Mukerian 30 mm, Gurdaspur 26 mm and Kalka 16 mm as heavy downpours flooded low-lyingareas.
Lightning killed two people in Uttar Pradesh as Gyanpur in Mirzapur district received 69.3 mm of rains, Lalganj 63 mm and Daboi 37.3mm.
State capital Lucknow, however, sweated with the maximum humidity settling at 92 per cent in the city, which recorded a high of 34.5degree Celsius.
Rajasthan had light to moderate showers with Loharia and Bhungra recording 11mm of rains and scenic Mount Abu nine mm. In Himachal Pradesh, Queen of Hills Shimla experienced a pleasant day with the maximum day temperature settling at a comfortable 23.4 degree Celsius.
The wet spell also continued in the state with Palampur receiving 96.2 mm of rains, Dharamsala 67.2 mm, Mandi 38.3 mm and Una 26.2mm.