Thousands of people have evacuated their homes in Delhi, India’s capital territory and home to some 30 million people, after the Yamuna River which runs through the city reached record levels.

Flood evacuations in Ghaziabad, NCR Delhi India, July 2023. Photo: NDRF Ghaziabad

The National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi has seen heavy rainfall over the last few days. The city recorded 153 mm of rain in 24 hours to early 09 July 2023, which is the highest in a single day in July since 1982 according to the India Meteorological Department.

Streets were flooded, causing widespread traffic disruption. Numerous building were damaged and several people had to be rescued from flooded areas in Ghaziabad. Schools and colleges were closed in response to the severe weather.

Levels of the Yamuna river started rising after the recent rainfall in Delhi and catchment areas upstream. India’s Central Water Commission (CWC) warned that the river would exceed danger levels by 12 July. In response, officials in the region have been evacuating those at risk.

North East Delhi Police reported one man climbed a tree to escape the floods from the Yamuna river. The man remained in the tree for 22 hours until police could rescue him. Delhi Police said teams have rescued almost 170 people in recent days.

As of 13 July, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs reported flooding in 5 districts in the city. Almost 35,000 people have evacuated their homes, with over 5,000 of them staying in relief camps.

According to figures from CWC, the Yamuna River at Delhi Railway Bridge stood at 208.48 metres as of 13 July 2023. This is the highest level on record, beating the previous high of 207.49 set in September 1978. The danger level at this section of the river is 205.33 metres.

Flood evacuations in Ghaziabad, NCR Delhi India, July 2023. Photo: NDRF Ghaziabad

Levels of the Yamuna river at at Delhi Railway Bridge, July 2023. Image: CWC

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