More than 10,000 people living in low-lying areas along the Yamuna in Delhi were evacuated by government agencies as the river breached the danger mark on Monday evening, officials said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the water level in the river is likely to rise further with more discharge from the Hathnikund barrage by neighbouring Haryana.
People living in the floodplain of the river have been moved to the over 2,000 tents set up by various Delhi government agencies at safer places.
The Old Iron Bridge over the Yamuna was closed down for road and rail traffic by the authorities as the water level crossed the danger mark of 205.33 metres.
“In view of rising level of Yamuna, around 10,000 people have been evacuated from floodplain and shifted to relief tents erected by the administration,” a senior official said.
Kejriwal said the next two days are going to be “critical” and assured the people that all arrangements were being made to deal with the situation and appealed to people not to panic.
Addressing a press conference, the chief minister said that more than 23,800 people will be required to be moved out from low-lying areas, according to official estimates.
He also urged those living in the Yamuna floodplain to move to the relief tents and not venture out to their homes.
At 6 pm, the river breached the danger mark and was flowing at 205.36 metres.
The official said that the water level is expected to rise further as Haryana released 1.43 lakh cusec water at 6 pm on Monday.
According to the Flood Control Room, the Yamuna was flowing at 205.54 metres at 9 pm.
The official said that 1.39 lakh cusec water was also released at 8 pm on Monday, which will lead to a steep rise in the Yamuna water level in Delhi on Tuesday.
In 2013, Kejriwal said, Haryana released 8.06 lakh cusecs water which led to a rise in the Yamuna water level to 207.32 metres.
So far, 2,120 temporary shelters have been set up, where food, water and other amenities are being provided by government agencies.
In many areas close to the river, the flood waters entered houses. Flooding at Nigam Bodh cremation ground disrupted last rites and caused inconvenience.
The river was flowing at 205.2 metres in Delhi at 3pm. Haryana released 1.87 lakh cusecs water at 2 pm on Monday and 1.79 lakh cusecs was discharged from the Hathnikund barrage at 3pm.
Kejriwal said there was no need for people to panic but those in low-lying areas needed to move to temporary shelters. He also urged parents to not allow their children near the river or to go for swimming or bathing in the swelling waters.
The Yamuna flows through six districts of Delhi whose low-lying areas are prone to flooding. The administration has deployed 30 boats to prevent accidental drowning.