Heavy rains lashed several parts of Saurashtra region including Morbi, Rajkot and Surendranagar districts, with seven deaths reported and hundreds rescued and relocated to safer places.
Rains threw normal life out of gear in these districts, and the Air Force and the National Disaster Response Force were pressed into service to rescue people.
At least three persons lost their life due to accidents caused by heavy rains, officials of the state emergency operations centre said.
Surendranagar district administration carried out rescue operations for 20 persons stranded in Bharada village with the help NDRF personnels.
Indian Air Force helicopter MI-17V5 was pressed into service to air lift four people stranded amidst raging flood waters near Gamtal village of Dhanghdhara in Surendranagar district, a Defence spokesperson said.
Three people, who are stranded in gushing waters of Boghavo river, are likely to be rescued tomorrow morning, district administration said.
“We have used drone to drop essentials for these three persons, including food items, mobile phones and warm clothes for their use before water level comes down,” Collector Udit Agarwal said.
“If water level does not come down by night, we will carry out rescue operation in the morning,” he added.
He said 20 persons were rescued at Bharada village in Dhranghadra tehsil of the district.
A middle-aged man Navalbhai Khunt died after getting swept by water near Jeta Kuba village in Lodhika taluka of Rajkot district.
Hundreds of people in these three districts were shifted to safer places from low-lying areas near rivers and dams. In Rajkot, authorities have asked citizens not to venture out of houses.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held an emergency meeting this morning to review the situation and ordered NDRF teams to remain stationed in Tankara in Morbi district and Chotila in Surendranagar district.
Chotila received around 450 mm of rainfall, the highest in Gujarat. Other parts of Surendranagar district also got substantial amount of rain, officials of the state disaster response control room said.
Tankara in Morbi district received 340 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, they said.
“Rajkot city received 400 mm of rainfall till 11 am,”
Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani said, adding they have alerted citizens not to venture out of houses.
Water-logging in low-lying areas has closed many roads in Rajkot, he said.
“Around 2,000 people have been shifted to safer places in Rajkot district, while in Morbi district around 1,400 have been moved to other places,” officials of the disaster control room said.
Following heavy rains, Aji and Macchu rivers in Rajkot and Surendranagar districts respectively, have swelled.
“More than 10 dams in the district are on the verge of overflowing, water level in Nyari 1 and 2, and Aji 3 dams has risen to alert level,” Rajkot collector Pandey said, adding the NDRF teams have been put on a standby mode and more number of people living in the low-lying areas are being taken to safer places.
During the review meeting, Rupani instructed the state administration to remain extra alert as the weather department has given a warning of heavy rains in Gujarat in the next 48 hours.
“The NDRF teams have been stationed in Tankar, Chotila and Valsad, Surat of South Gujarat and Palanpur in north Gujarat,” an official release said.
South Gujarat region also received heavy rainfall.
Other places which received heavy rainfall include Muli (160 mm) in Surendranagar district, Padadhari (159 mm) in Rajkot district, Kapadvanj (144 mm) in Kheda district, Kalol (133 mm) in Gandhinagar district, Vankaner (132 mm) in Morbi district, Jamnagar (124 mm), Deesa (117 mm) and Mahisagar (107 mm).
The state emergency operations centre said high-alert has been issued for seven out of 203 dams, and alert for four.
The high-alert has been issued for Fatehgadh in Kutch district, Kankavati in Jamnagar, Demi 3 and Machhu 3 in Morbi district, Khodapiper in Rajkot, and Marshal and Trivenisang in Surendranagar district.
The Gujarat government’s failure to effectively deal with the crisis and the state’s big cities inundated with floods have exposed the much-touted claims on it being the most developed state in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often sought votes outside Gujarat selling his credential as the most successful chief minister of the state, which according to him, had become a model for true development for other states to emulate.
(With PTI inputs)