Rains Lash Three Gujarat Districts, 7,000 Evacuated; IAF, Navy, Coast Guard Pressed Into Service

Heavy rains in Rajkot and Jamnagar districts of Gujarat have led to evacuation of over 7,000 people, officials said on Tuesday evening. Rains also lashed Junagadh district during the day, they said. Newly sworn-in Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Tuesday visited rain-hit parts of Jamnagar city and district and assured help to those affected by the floods.

Earlier in the morning, officials said that a national highway passing through Jamnagar and 18 state highways passing through Rajkot, Jamnagar and Junagadh districts of the Saurashtra region were closed due to flooding.Many villages were cut off from other parts of the state as roads were inundated.

A bridge over the river Fofal collapsed, forcing the closure of a road connecting Jam Kandorna and Gondal in Rajkot district, officials said.After pounding Rajkot and Jamnagar districts for 24 hours since Monday morning, the rains eased a bit on Tuesday, while heavy showers were reported in Junagadh district during the day.

The Indian Air Force (IAF), Navy and Coast Guard were called in to help in the rescue operations along with teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), officials said.Rajkot’s Lodhika taluka received the maximum rainfall of 516 mm in the state in the 24-hour period ending at 6 am on Tuesday, the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) said.

Visavadar taluka in Junagadh district of Saurashtra received the second highest rainfall at 468 mm, while Kalavad in Jamnagar recorded 406 mm rain, Rajkot taluka 325 mm and Dhoraji in Rajkot district 250 mm of rain, the SEOC said.On Tuesday, Mangrol taluka of Junagadh district received 151 mm rainfall in just four hours since 6 am, while Keshod taluka in Junagadh received 108 mm rainfall during the same period, the SEOC said.

IAF helicopters rescued 22 people stranded in parts of Jamnagar. They also rescued seven villagers in Rajkot.”A Navy team was helping in the operation to search for two persons who are missing after their car got washed away in Rajkot on Monday,” Collector Arun Mahesh Babu said.

“Two teams of the SDRF are deployed in Gondal and Lodhika talukas,” he said, adding that 1,467 people from rural areas and over 600 from urban areas were shifted to safer places.Teams of the Navy and Coast Guard also assisted the Jamnagar administration in rescuing 150 to 160 people within the city limits, Jamnagar Collector Sourabh Pardhi said.

During the 24-hour period ending at 6 am on Tuesday, 35 talukas received over 100 mm rainfall, mainly in Rajkot, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Porbandar, Gir Somnath and Devbhumi Dwarka districts in Saurashtra region, as well as in south Gujarat’s Valsad and Navsari districts, the SEOC said.Chief minister Patel visited Jamnagar during the day, an official release said in the evening.

Patel, accompanied by local MP Poonam Maadam and state Chief Secretary Pankaj Kumar, first visited Dhuvav village and spoke with its residents.The CM then visited some flood-affected areas of Jamnagar city.

Addressing a press conference, Patel expressed satisfaction about the relief and rescue work.Over 5,000 persons in the entire Jamnagar district were shifted to safer places and over 800 stranded persons were rescued, the CM told reporters.

“As many as 4,760 persons have been shifted to safer places and 144 persons rescued in rural parts of Jamnagar district by NDRF, SDRF and Air Force. Similarly, 1,146 persons were shifted elsewhere while 724 persons were rescued in Jamnagar city. Around 10,000 food packets were distributed,” he said.Electricity supply will be restored in 84 villages in Jamnagar district by Wednesday evening, he assured.

“Livestock was also killed in large numbers. Health and sanitation teams have already started their work in the district. The government will conduct a survey of loss and announce compensation accordingly,” the chief minister said.Patel then left for Rajkot district to review the situation. Gujarat has so far this monsoon season received 69.24 per cent of the average rainfall, and the downpour this month has helped the state narrow rain deficiency. In September the state has received 219.2 mm rainfall so far, against 65.3 mm in the entire August, 176.7 mm in July and 120.4 mm in June, as per the SEOC data.


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