Several parts of districts in south and central Gujarat, including Ahmedabad, received very heavy rainfall over the last 24 hours, resulting in a flood-like situation in various low-lying areas from where over 6,000 people were shifted to safer places, officials said on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and took details of the situation. He assured Patel of all possible help from the central government, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a statement. Due to the widespread rains, 388 roads, including state highways and panchayat roads, were closed. Efforts were on to open them for the traffic. Thirteen teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 16 of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed to carry out rescue operations, a government release said.
Thirteen dams have been put on ‘high alert’ and eight on ‘alert’ as their water level rose due to the heavy showers, it said. The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy showers during the next five days in south Gujarat, and heavy downpour in central parts of the state and Saurashtra.
Ahmedabad city received 219 mm downpour on Sunday night, causing water-logging in many residential areas and flooding on underpasses and roads. Several areas in the city inundated, resulting in hardships for commuters. Schools and colleges in the city were closed on Monday. Narmada and Chhota Udepur districts in central Gujarat, and Surat, Tapi and Valsad in south Gujarat have been badly affected due to the heavy downpour.
In Valsad district, a helicopter was used to rescue around 10 people from a village where they were stranded due to flooding in the Auranga river, revenue official Madhavi Mistry said. Nearly 1,000 people were shifted to safer places from various rain-hit areas in Valsad and 15 rescued, five of them from an urban area, she said.
In Chhota Udepur district, Bodeli taluka received 549 mm rainfall and Kwant taluka 432 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period till 6 am on Monday, leading to water entering many areas. The Uchh and Heran rivers in the district were in spate and caused flooding in low-lying areas. A total of 5,245 people were evacuated and more than 350 rescued, an official said. In Bodeli town, river waters entered many residential areas.
The movement of four passenger trains and an express train was affected after tracks between Chandod and Ekta Nagar sections were washed away, a Western Railway official said. Panchmahal, Dang, Navsari, Valsad, Tapi and Kheda districts were also affected by heavy rains, an official from the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) said. In all, 218 out of 251 talukas in Gujarat received rainfall in the 24-hour period till 6 am on Monday, it said.
The state has so far received 36 per cent of its average annual rainfall, as per the data shared by the SEOC. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy showers during the next five days in south Gujarat’s Dang, Navsari and Valsad districts.
Several other districts of south and central Gujarat and Saurashtra are also likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall during the period, the IMD said.