At least 14 persons died after heavy rains battered several districts of north Gujarat on Tuesday, throwing normal life out of gear, cutting off power supply to over 2,900 villages, shutting down schools and leading to rain-related accidents. Lakhni taluka of Banaskantha received a phenomenal 21 inches of rain during the day. Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Reserve Police (SRP) and Border Security Force (BSF) were deployed for rescue operations.
Twelve victims who died are from Banaskantha — one of the worst-affected districts — while two others died in rain-related incidents in Ahmedabad and Kheda districts. “Twelve persons have died in Banaskantha district,” said Banaskantha resident additional collector N D Mistry on Tuesday evening. Six bodies have been recovered while the authorities are searching for others who went missing in the flooding caused due to heavy rains in Dhanera, Lakhni and Vav talukas of the district. “Banaskantha district received 15 inch rainfall overnight since Monday, of which Lakhni alone had a rainfall of 21 inches,” Mistry added. In Ahmedabad, Ranjitsinh Thakor (30) died when a tree fell on an auto-rickshaw opposite Nobel Nagar police station around noon on Tuesday.
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Chief minister Anandiben Patel held a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation in the north. Last month, a flash flood claimed nearly 70 human lives in Amreli. It also claimed a dozen lions and hundreds of blue bulls.
In the meeting, it was decided to keep the schools and anganwadis in these districts closed for 2-3 days. The chief minister also announced Rs 4 lakh compensation to the kin of those who have died in rain-related accidents. Power supply to over 2,929 villages in this region have been affected after rain water flooded power sub-stations in the region.
Four teams of NDRF and two companies of SRP have been sent to Banaskantha which is one of the worst affected. One team of NDRF and two teams of BSF have also been positioned in Kutch. About 10 mobile dispensaries have also been kept on standby in Gandhinagar.
The parks and gardens department of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) received 456 complaints of trees uprooting from various areas.
Of these, 140 calls were attended. All the eight gates of the Vasna barrage on the Sabarmati river were opened to three feet to release 14,200 cusecs on Tuesday. In Ahmedabad city, water-logging affected areas like New Ranip, Chandkheda, Sabarmati, Maninagar and Bhairavnath. In order to meet the flood-like situation in north Gujarat, teams of Ahmedabad fire service left for rescue work, official sources said. Rainfall recorded in Ahmedabad since 4 pm Tuesday was about 138 mm.
Meanwhile, a team of the Vadodara Fire and Emergency Department also left for Banaskantha where rescue operations are on. A team of 22 fire officials left for Banaskantha on Tuesday to assist emergency operations to rescue stranded people from marooned villages.
In Madhuda taluka of Kheda district, five persons of one family were trapped under a wall collapse due to heavy rains. While two children of the family — aged 10 and 8 — were rescued, two men and one woman member of the family were rushed to Nadiad civil hospital with grievous injuries. One man succumbed to his injuries.