Evacuation begins as Yamuna level rises in Delhi (Third Lead)

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New Delhi/Chandigarh : The authorities in Delhi on Saturady began to evacuate hundreds of people living in the Yamuna catchment area as a flood threat loomed following a sharp rise in the river's level, officials said.

Heavy rains continued to lash many parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, with authorities releasing more water at Haryana's Hathnikund barrage during the day.

The Yamuna in Delhi was flowing above the danger mark at 205.06 metres by 10 a.m., an Irrigation and Flood Control Department official told IANS.

"Over 10,000 persons have been affected. People earlier living on the river bed and low-lying areas are being shifted out," Nodal Officer (Preet Vihar) Arun Gupta said.

He cautioned that the Yamuna water level is expected to go up further by Sarurday night.

"On Saturday morning, over 200,000 cusecs was released into the Yamuna from the barrage -- which provides drinking water to New Delhi," an official told IANS in Chandigarh.

The official said villagers living along the river have been alerted on the release of excess water.

The official said that water at the Hathnikund barrage along the Haryana-Uttarakhand border had risen to alarming levels owing to overnight downpour in catchment states, making authorities release the extra water.

The Yamuna passes through Yamunanagar, Karnal and Panipat districts in Haryana before entering Delhi.

Yamunanagar Deputy Commissioner Girish Arora said a high alert was declared in the district as the water level crossed the 2.12 lakh cusec mark in the morning.

He said the Army has been put on alert along with a team of the National Disaster Management Authority.

However, there was no report of any damage to property or a loss of life in Yamunanagar district.

The Met Department in Chandigarh predicted that hill states in Haryana's neighbourhood will continue to experience heavy rains.