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Monsoon wreaks havoc: 71 dead in lightning strikes



Heavy rains wreaked havoc, triggering flash floods in parts of Himachal Pradesh and the Jammu region disrupting normal life on Monday even as the deaths due to lightning strikes in several states climbed to 71, including 46 in Uttar Pradesh.

Southwest monsoon rains, which reached most parts of North India, however, eluded Delhi and parts of Haryana.

The India Meteorological Department has issued an orange alert for Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir, and a yellow alert for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh for Tuesday with a warning of heavy rains.

The IMD has four colour-coded warnings based on the intensity of an extreme weather event and issues them in the ascending order of green, yellow, orange and red.

In Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala, flash floods triggered by heavy rains swept away cars and two buildings, videos of which were widely shared on social media.

The flash floods also damaged several buildings, including one housing a government school, as bad weather led to the closure of the Kangra airport at Gaggal.

The district administration instructed tourists to postpone their visit to the hill town in view of the heavy rains which also disrupted traffic movement on the Mandi-Pathankot highway. In Jammu’s Kathua region, 11 people, belonging to a nomadic community, were rescued after flash floods following heavy rains which disrupted normal life and inundated several areas. Several farm animals were, however, washed away.

The traffic movement was disrupted on the Pathankot-Jammu highway due to heavy flooding even as the heavy downpour led to a rise in water levels in major rivers in Jammu, including the Tawi.

Six people, including two minors, were killed and 11 others injured in separate incidents of lightning in parts of Madhya Pradesh.

Forty-six people have died in separate rain-related incidents, including lightning strikes in parts of Uttar Pradesh in the 24 hours ending 6 am on Monday, an official said.

Twenty-three people were also injured in incidents of lightning strike, he said.

While 42 people were killed after being struck by lightning, three drowned and one succumbed to snakebite, a senior official of the relief commissioner’s office informed on Monday.

At 14, Prayagraj reported the highest number of deaths due to lightning strikes, followed by five each in Kanpur Dehat and Fatehpur, three each in Firozabad and Kaushambi, two each in Chitrakoot, Unnao, Hamirpur and Sonbhadra, and one each in Kanpur, Mirzapur, Hardoi and Banda, he said.

Three people drowned in Ghazipur, Firozabad and Ballia while one died due to snakebite in Fatehpur, he added.

The number of people who died in separate incidents of lightning strikes on Sunday rose in Rajasthan to 23, including 12 in Jaipur. Twenty-seven people were also injured in those incidents.

The Southwest monsoon rains reached the desert district of Jaisalmer and Ganganagar, its last outposts but gave Delhi and parts of Haryana a miss although the periphery of the national Capital — Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh and Karnal in Haryana — received rains.

The national Capital woke up to a humid morning with the minimum temperature settling at 27 degrees Celsius, while the maximum temperature was 37.7 degrees Celsius. The relative humidity was recorded at 55 per cent at 5.30 pm.

It is expected to be a generally cloudy day with chances of light rain on Tuesday in Delhi.

IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said the Southwest monsoon clouds are hovering over the national Capital since Saturday, even the wind pattern has changed and easterlies have brought moist winds.

As rains continued to play truant in Delhi, the IMD said the failure of numerical models in predicting the monsoon advance over the Capital this time is “rare and uncommon”.

Rains also lashed several parts of Punjab and neighbouring Haryana on Monday, bringing relief to the people from the sultry weather conditions and ending the prolonged dry spell. It also brought the mercury by a few notches.

Amritsar in Punjab received a heavy downpour during the day (56 mm), Ambala, Panchkula, Karnal and Yamunanagar in Haryana were among the places to receive showers.

Light to moderate rains also occurred at few places over eastern Uttar Pradesh and at isolated places over western parts of the state. Rainfall was recorded in Kannauj, Allahabad, Jalaun, Siddharth Nagar, Shravasti, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Hardoi, Farrukhabad, Agra, Maharajganj, Balrampur, Pratapgarh, Jaunpur, Hamirpur and Shahjahanpur.

Several parts of Rajasthan received also showers, with Kota receiving 2.7 mm rainfall. Other places to receive rainfall were Sriganganagar (2.2 mm) followed by 2.0 mm in Bhilwara and 0.2 mm in Barmer.

The IMD has issued an orange alert for Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir, and yellow alert for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh for Tuesday with warning of heavy rains.

Red alert has been issued for Konkan and Goa, and central Maharashtra, while an orange alert warning has been issued for Gujarat, parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam. It has also sounded a yellow alert for Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, parts of West Bengal and Kerala.

After revival of the Southwest monsoon, several parts of the country experienced heavy rains while some witnessed thunderstorms and lighting.

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Gigantic asteroid ‘2008 GO20’ nears Earth, likely to pass on July 25




mid reports of a four football fields sized asteroid hurtling towards the earth, Dr Suvendu Pattnaik, Deputy Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Odisha said that there is no need for anyone to panic as this same asteroid had flown past earth earlier as well and at a much closer distance. Dr Pattnaik also stated that there are no chances of ‘2008 GO20’ asteroid colliding with the planet. He also added that this asteroid will again revisit Earth in 2034.

“We should not panic. We can safely say that it will not hit the earth,” Dr Pattnaik said.

“This asteroid has visited earth at a much closer distance of 19 lakh km and 29 lakh km in 1935 and 1977 respectively. At that time, it flew away and never came towards the earth. This time it is around 45 lakh km, which is about 11 to 12 times the earth-moon distance, so there is no danger of hitting the earth,” he added.

As per Dr Pattnaik, ‘2008 G20’ will be closest to the earth on July 25, 2021 at 11.21 pm as per Indian Standard Time (IST). He also revealed that the gigantic asteroid is estimated to be 97m in width and 230 meter in length which will be around the size of four football fields put together. It is moving towards the planet at a speed of 29,000 kilometers per hour, which is an average of 8 kilometers per second, he added.

“Given this high speed, anything that crosses the path of the asteroid will be destroyed,” Dr Pattnaik noted. Dr Pattnaik noted that many asteroids orbit the sun between Mars and Jupiter. They range in size from one meter to hundreds of kilometres. He added that some out of these millions of asteroids are at times attracted to the earth by gravitational pull, but over 99.9 percent of them are burnt to ashes in the atmosphere before they hit the earth’s surface.

“Scientists have now compiled a list of more than 23,628 large asteroids that move closer to earth and are monitoring their movements. Out of these, only 1,045 have been classified as potentially dangerous asteroids which are named as Near Earth Objects (NEO),” he said.

Many organizations, scientists are keeping an eye on such objects that are approaching earth. Astronomers and scientists have been working tirelessly on how to protect the planet from such a catastrophe.


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Raj Kundra’s brother-in law involved in Hotshot app: Shilpa Shetty tells Mumbai Police




Actor Shilpa Shetty on Friday told Mumbai Police that London-based Pradeep Bakshi, the brother-in-law of her husband Raj Kundra was involved with the Hotshot app and its functioning, said sources.

According to sources, Shilpa Shetty told Mumbai Police that she was not aware of the exact content of the Hotshot app claiming she has nothing to do with the application. This is in connection with a case related to the production of pornographic films, in which her husband is the prime accused.

The actor claimed that her husband Raj Kundra is innocent and was not involved in producing porn content. She stated that it is London-based Pradeep Bakshi who was involved with the Hotshot app and its functioning.

Mumbai Police sources said Shilpa Shetty also mentioned that the content of erotica is different from pornography. She also spoke about the other OTT platforms being full of similar erotica content, which is not considered porn.

Mumbai Police on Friday conducted a raid at Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra’s residence. Police seized a hard disk and a computer from their residence.

According to sources, Mumbai police is checking if Shilpa Shetty played an active role in the entire porn racket, in which her husband is the key accused.

Mumbai Police questioned the actor on her knowledge of the Hotshot app, on which the porn content used to be uploaded.

She was asked if she was aware of porn content upload related operations being conducted in the premises of the Viaan company.
Mumbai police is also checking whether any money earned from the porn racket was routed to/from Shilpa Shetty’s accounts or not.
A Mumbai court on Friday sent actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband and businessman Raj Kundra and his associate Ryan Thorpe to police custody till July 27 in connection with a case related to the production of pornographic films.

Mumbai Police told the Court that they suspect money earned from pornography was used for online betting. Raj Kundra was arrested by Mumbai Police for allegedly creating pornographic films and publishing them through some mobile applications on Monday night.
The Mumbai Police on Tuesday informed that the Property Cell of its Crime Branch had so far arrested a total of 11 people, including Kundra for their alleged involvement in the crime.

“He appears to be the key conspirator. We have sufficient evidence regarding this,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale had said.
The case was registered with Crime Branch Mumbai in February 2021 about the creation of pornographic films and the use of apps.

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Four minors among nine killed in explosion caused by leaking LPG cylinder




Four children and five others have succumbed to severe burn injuries they had suffered in an explosion and fire that was triggered by leakage of gas from an LPG cylinder in a room on the outskirts of Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city, a police official said on Saturday (July 24).

The incident had occurred on the night of July 20. While eight victims – labourers and their family members – died in the last couple of days during treatment, another one succumbed on Saturday. All of them were from Madhya Pradesh, he said.

“Leakage of gas from an LPG cylinder had triggered explosion and fire, in which 10 persons, including children and women, had suffered severe burn injuries. The incident has claimed the lives of nine of them so far. They were undergoing treatment at the civil hospital,” inspector P R Jadeja of Aslali police station said.

Three persons died during treatment on Thursday, five others succumbed on Friday and one more on Saturday morning, he said.

The labourers and their family members were sleeping in the small room when the gas from their cylinder started leaking. When their neighbour knocked on their door to alert them about it, one of the labourers got up and switched on the light, which triggered a spark and led to the explosion due to concentration of gas, another police official said.

The 10 injured persons included the neighbour who had come to alert them, and all of them were rushed to the civil hospital for treatment, he said.

The deceased have been identified as Rampyari Ahirwar (56), Rajubhai Ahirwar (31), Sonu Ahirwar (21), Seema Ahirwar (25), Sarju Ahirwar (22), Vaishali (7), Nitesh (6), Payal (4), and Akash (2), all natives of Guna district in Madhya Pradesh, the inspector added.

“One injured person,identified as Kulsinh Bhairwa (30), is undergoing treatment and his condition is said to be critical,” Jadeja said, adding that he hails from Kudgaon in Karauli in Rajasthan, he said.

Jadeja said that the bodies of the deceased were being sent to their native village in Madhya Pradesh.

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Covid-19 Stats

24 Jul 2021, 6:08 AM (GMT)

Coronavirus Stats

31,341,507 Total Cases
420,196 Death Cases
30,504,747 Recovered Cases


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July 2021