Heavy rains have created havoc at all the districts of Saurashtra for the last two days, causing severe damage to properties, straining hundreds of cattle and washing away acres of fields. Heavy rains are still a forecast in many parts of Gujarat for the next two days. NDRF rescue teams have issued red alerts to local administrative bodies especially of three districts, Rajkot, Junagadh and Valsad in South Gujarat.
According to DC Operations at NDRF Gandhinagar, Ranvijay Kumar Sinh, for low-lying areas in districts under red alert, evacuation processes will commence based on the situation on Wednesday, September 15. “Fifteen rescue teams were currently operating following heavy rains. In addition, five more teams are being called from other states and they will be kept on stand-by. One team each is on standby in Vadodara and Gandhinagar. He said 64 people have been airlifted. An NDRF team is dispatched wherever required, in consultation with the District Collector, Additional Secretary and Chief Secretary. The low-lying areas have been evacuated and more people will be evacuated tomorrow,” said Sinh.
He said heavy rains were also forecast in Gir, Porbandar districts. Additional teams have been sent from Botad out of which four teams have been deployed in Jamnagar, three in Rajkot and two in Junagadh, one in Gir-Somnath and one in Porbandar. As of Tuesday, September 14, 44 people have been rescued and 790 people have been evacuated.
Heavy rains have flooded Saurashtra’s dams and the situation has worsened with the release of water from the dams. The NDRF teams also faced difficulties in reaching the affected areas.
Heavy rains on Tuesday also led to waterlogging in many areas in districts like Rajkot, Junagadh, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar. Lodhika near Rajkot received 21 inches, Visavadar 19 inches, Kalawad 16 inches and Rajkot more than 13 inches. Significant rainfall has been recorded in 97 talukas of the state.
Roads washed, transport affected
The total average rainfall of the state is 69 per cent. Out of which Saurashtra zone has received 80 per cent rainfall. Heavy rains have affected road transport, as either the roads are washed away or water is overflowing on the roads, making commuting an impossible task. The administration has shut down one national highway, 18 state highways, 20 other roads and 162 panchayat roads of the state taking the total to 201 roads, that are closed. As a result, 55 routes of ST buses have also been closed and 121 trips have been cancelled.
Dark clouds continue to loom over Rajkot
In Rajkot district, monsoons have called it a day for hundreds of lives. Lightning and thunderstorms along with heavy showers have destructed lives, destroyed daily lives. Lilakha village in Gondal has received four inches of rain in an hour and yet people from Ghadapur were seen enjoying the overflowing Amar river, after months of no rains at all. It has been raining heavily in the Gondal district for the last two days. Heavy rains have also destroyed the surrounding rural areas including Lilakha, Navagam and Warsada by Tuesday afternoon.
Rescue work in Porbandar
NDRF team rescued 15 people in the Ghed area of Porbandar. Four people have been rescued from the low-lying area of Kutiyana. In addition, a rescue operation was carried out for 10 people trapped in the last 48 hours from the Chonta Wadi area near Kutiyana.
Forecast of more rains
Junagadh, Rajkot and Valsad are likely to receive heavy to very heavy rains for three days in view of the weather forecast in the coming days. Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Morbi, Porbandar, Gir-Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Dahod, Vadodara, Chhota Udepur, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, Dang, Navsari are forecast to receive heavy rains. North Gujarat and Morbi, Jamnagar, Devbhoomi Dwarka are likely to receive heavy rains from September 17 to September 18. Heavy rains are expected in the Kutch district from September 16 to September 18. A total of 65 reservoirs in the state were placed on high alert.
The Sardar Sarovar reservoir currently has a storage capacity of 1,76,558 MCFT of water, which is 52.85 of the total storage capacity. There are 3,98,753 MCFT of water storage in 206 reservoirs in the state, an irrigation department official said. This is 71.53 per cent of the total storage capacity. At present, there are 65 alert reservoirs in the state, 05 reservoirs in the alert and 13 warning reservoirs in the state.