11 Sep 2010

Flood fears in Commonwealth Games host city

4:20 pm on 11 September 2010

The rising level of a river in New Delhi is posing a new threat to the Indian capital as it struggles to prepare for the Commonwealth Games.

Thousands of people living in low-lying parts of New Delhi have been evacuated as the city's Yamuna River surges towards levels last seen in 1978.

Officials say Incessant rainfall and release of water from the Hathnikund barrage upstream in Haryana state have raised the level of the river.

But New Delhi's chief minister, Sheila Dikshit, has assured residents the threat had eased after the river breached its banks further upstream.

Flooding caused by the monsoon is disrupting life across northern India, including parts of Gujarat and Punj.

The Commonwealth Games start on 3 October.

Monsoon rains and rising water levels have also raised fears of a dengue fever epidemic in the city.

There is particular concern as dengue fever-carrying mosquitoes are breeding in a swamp near the Commonwealth Games Village where visiting athletes and officials will be put up.