Extremely heavy rains lashed Rajkot and Jamnagar in Gujarat over the last 24 hours, following which more than 200 people stranded in the flood waters were rescued and over 7,000 people shifted to safer places in the two districts, officials said.
A national highway in Jamnagar and 18 state highways passing through Rajkot, Jamnagar and Junagadh districts of the Saurashtra region were closed due to flooding, affecting traffic movement. Many villages were cut off as several roads connecting them were inundated, they said.
A bridge over river Fofal collapsed, forcing the closure of a road connecting Jam Kandorna and Gondal in Rajkot district, officials said.
After pounding Rajkot and Jamnagar overnight, the rains eased a bit in the two districts on Tuesday, while heavy showers were reported in the neighbouring Junagadh district during the day, they said.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel will visit Rajkot and Jamnagar district later in the day to access the situation, officials in the Chief Minister’s Office said.
The Indian Air Force, the Navy and the Coast Guard were called in to help in the rescue operations along with teams of the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force in the two rain-battered districts, officials said.
Rajkot’s Lodhika taluka received the maximum rainfall of 516 mm in the state during the 24-hour period ending at 6 am on Tuesday, the State Emergency Operation Centre said in an update.
Visavadar taluka in Junagadh district of Saurashtra received the second highest downpour at 468 mm, while Kalavad in Jamnagar recorded 406 mm rain, Rajkot taluka-325 mm and Dhoraji in Rajkot-250 mm, 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.
The IAF helicopters rescued 22 people stranded at some locations in Jamnagar, officials said, adding that 150 people in all were rescued across the distric
The IAF also rescued seven villagers in Rajkot, while a total of 56 people were rescued all over the district, officials said.
“A Navy team was helping in the operation to search for two persons who are missing after their car got washed away in a strong water current 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 the Coast Guard also assisted the Jamnagar administration in rescuing 150 to 160 people within the city limits as local rescue teams were unable to reach there due to the surge in water level, 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 in Saurashtra region, as well as in south Gujarat’s Valsad and Navsari districts, the SEOC said.
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 its rain deficiency.
This month so far, the state has received 219.2 mm rainfall, as against 65.3 mm in the entire last month, 176.7 mm in July and 120.4 mm in June, as per the SEOC data.